How to Build an App Empire: Can You Create The Next Instagram?

Chad Mureta runs his seven-figure app business from his iPhone. (Photo: Jorge Quinteros).

I first met Chad Mureta in Napa Valley in 2011.

Two years prior, he had been in a horrible car accident. He’d lost control of his truck in at attempt to avoid a deer, hit a median, and flipped four times, nearly destroying his dominant arm in the wreckage.

While in the hospital for a lengthy recovery, a friend gave him an article about the app market. Shortly thereafter, Chad began designing and developing apps. His results?

“In just over two years, I’ve created and sold three app companies that have generated millions in revenue. Two months after launching my first company, one of my apps averaged $30,000 a month in profit. In December of 2010, the company’s monthly income had reached $120,000. In all, I’ve developed more than 40 apps and have had more than 35 million app downloads across the globe. Over 90 percent of my apps were successful and made money.”

After finishing rehab, Chad was able to leave his real estate company, where he’d been working 70 hours a week, to run his app business from his iPhone… in less than 5 hours per week.

“Apps” are the new, new thing, thanks to major successes like Draw Something (bought by Zynga for $210 million) and Instagram (bought by Facebook for $1 billion), among others. But for all the hype and promise, few people actually know how to create something that gets traction.

In this post, Chad will discuss his step-by-step formula for rapid app development and sales optimization. It covers real-world case studies and the details you usually don’t see: early prototype sketches, screenshots, how to code if you don’t know how to code, and much more.

Last but not least, don’t miss the competition at the end. If you’ve ever thought “I should make an app that…,” this one is for you…

Enter Chad Mureta

When you are on your deathbed, will you be able to say you lived a fulfilled life?

I nearly couldn’t.

I started my app business from a hospital bed, wondering if I even wanted to live. I had barely survived a terrible car accident that shattered my left arm. I had gone through two groundbreaking operations, and spent 18 months in painful rehabilitation.

With limited insurance, I had racked up $100,000 in medical bills. Even though I survived, I had no clue how to get out of the deep hole I felt trapped in. I was moved to a physical rehabilitation center and worked on reconstructing my body, my mind, and ultimately my life. While I was there, I read two books that made a huge impact: Unlimited Power strengthened my thought processes, and The 4-Hour Workweek inspired me to pursue lifestyle freedom.

During that time, a good friend gave me an article about “appreneurs” and told me I should consider getting into the business. I learned that most appreneurs were one- or two-person teams with low costs, and the successful ones were bringing in millions in profits. Still in my hospital bed, in a state of semi-coherence from the pain medication, I began drawing up ideas for apps.

Three weeks after my final surgery, desperate, broke, and grasping at straws, I borrowed $1,800 from my stepdad and jumped into the app business. Fortunately, taking that leap was the best decision I’ve ever made…

These days, my life is about doing what I love while earning easy income. I run my business from my iPhone, working in a virtual world while earning real dollars. I am part of a growing community of “appreneurs,” entrepreneurs who make money from applications that are used on iPhones, iPads, iPods, Droids, and Blackberries. As of this writing, the world’s youngest appreneur is nine years old, and the oldest is 80!

Appreneurs earn money while creating lifestyles of great freedom. Two of my appreneur friends spend several months of the year doing nonprofit work in Vietnam, while their businesses are generating seven-figure incomes. Another is taking his kids to see the Seven Wonders of the World, creating priceless memories with his family. Still another friend goes backpacking throughout Europe with his wife for most of the year. As for me, I’ve hiked in the Australian Outback, trekked with Aborigines across the desert, climbed in the Rocky Mountains, got certified in solo skydiving, heli-skied in Canada, walked on fire, and most important of all, learned not to take life so seriously.

No matter what your dream lifestyle is, you can have it as an appreneur.

The Opportunity for Appreneurs

There are currently more than 4.6 billion cell phones being used worldwide, enough for two-thirds of the people on Earth. The app market is literally the fastest growing industry in history, with no signs of slowing down. Now is the perfect time to jump into the mobile game.

What happened during the early days of the Internet, with the creation of websites like Google and eBay, is exactly what’s happening today with apps and mobile technology. The only difference is that we have experienced the rise of the Internet and are conditioned to react more quickly to the app revolution. This means that the app world is running light years ahead of the Internet, when it was at the same development stage. Developing apps is your chance to jump ahead of the masses and not be left behind, saying years from now, “I wish I had…”

Common Objections

“I’m not a tech person. I have no experience in this market.”

I was in the same spot, and I still don’t know how to write code. But I found successful people to learn from, emulated their models, and hired programmers and designers who could execute my ideas. If you can draw your idea on a piece of paper, you can successfully build an app.

“The app market has too much competition. I don’t stand a chance.”

This industry is just getting started– it’s less than four years old! What makes the app business unique is that the big players are on the same playing field as everyone else. They have the same questions and challenges as you and I will have.

“I don’t have the money.”

You don’t need a lot of money to start. It costs anywhere from $500 to $5,000 to develop simple apps. As soon as you launch your app (depending on your sales), you could see money hit your bank account within two months.

“It’s difficult… I don’t understand it… I’m not smart enough.”

Just like everything you’ve learned in life, you have to start somewhere. Fortunately, running an app business is far easier than almost every other type of business. Apple and Google handle all of the distribution, so you can spend your time creating apps and marketing them. And you don’t have to come up with new, innovative ideas. If you can improve on existing app ideas, you can make money.

Many people are joining the app gold rush with a get-rich-quick mentality and unrealistic expectations. Maintaining an optimistic perspective is important, but so is understanding that you will have to put in work. My goal in this post is to help you think like a business owner, and show you the map I’ve used to find “the gold.” This is not a one-time app lottery, and you can’t treat it as such. If you think of this endeavor as a long-term business, it will grow and become a sustainable source of income.

Still interested? Then let’s get started!

Step 1: Get a Feel for the Market

As with any business, your success will be directly related to your understanding of the marketplace. The App Store is the marketplace of the app business, so in order to understand the market, we have to study the App Store. This seems rather obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many developers I meet that don’t understand this concept. They don’t watch the market, follow the most successful apps, or try to figure out why those apps are successful.

In order to become a great app supplier, you must first become an app addict. That means spending at least 2-4 weeks researching the market while downloading and playing with tons of apps (give yourself an app budget of $100 to start). This training period is an investment in your expertise, which will become the lifeblood of your success. The more hours you rack up playing around and studying successful apps, the better you’ll be able to understand their common traits and what users desire.

So, how do you keep pace with the market? The best way is to study Apple’s cheat sheet constantly. The App Store displays the top paid, top free, and top-grossing apps (the apps that make the most money, including free apps), almost in real-time. Apple provides the same lists in the individual app categories.

These charts are golden because they tell us volumes about the market. The best part is this information is freely accessible to anyone, at any moment (unlike the market info for basically every other industry).

Review these charts frequently, and keep a notebook of potential trends you spot. Doing this repeatedly will educate you on successful app design, marketing, and various pricing models. The research you’re doing is simple, costs nothing, and it’s actually fun!

Here are some questions to ask while you’re researching successful apps in the market:

  1. Why is this app successful?
  2. What is its rank and has it been consistent?
  3. Why do people want this app? (Look at the reviews.)
  4. Has this app made the customer a raving fan?
  5. Does this app provoke an impulse buy?
  6. Does this app meet any of my needs?
  7. Did I become a raving fan after trying it?
  8. Will the customer use it again?
  9. How are they marketing to their customers? (Check out the screen shots, icon design, and descriptions.)
  10. What is the competitive advantage of this app?
  11. What does this app cost? Are there in-app purchases? Advertisements?

Most developers will build an app and expect tons of people to find and download it right away. That rarely happens. You have to figure out what people are interested in and the kinds of apps they’re downloading first, then you build your app based on that insight.

Once you’ve put in the necessary 2-4 weeks of research and feel you have a decent grasp on the market, it will be time to look back on the trends you discovered and explore some ideas for potential apps you can develop.

Step 2: Align Your Ideas with Successful Apps

How do you know if the market wants your app? Again, you’ll need to look at the Top Apps chart. Are apps like the one you want to create listed there? If yes, you’ve got a potential winner. If not, keep looking. It’s that simple.

Don’t hate; Emulate! When you follow in the footsteps of successful apps, you will have a better chance of succeeding because these apps have proven demand and an existing user base. This takes the guesswork out of creating great app ideas.

I can’t stress the importance of emulating existing apps enough. It’s easy for people to fall in love with their own idea, even if the market doesn’t show an appetite for it. But this is one of the costliest errors you can make.

Unfortunately, developers make this mistake all the time. They focus on generating original ideas and spend a lot of time and effort creating those apps. When it doesn’t work out, they go to the next untested idea, instead of learning from the market. Often times, they repeat this cycle until they run out of money and dismiss the app game. This doesn’t have to be your experience.

A personal example of how to successfully emulate competitors is my Emoji app. First, I took a close look at what the market offered and downloaded all the major emoticon apps. I liked what I saw, but noticed that there was a lack of variety and limited functionality.

Screenshots from a competing Emoji app. The app (left) is opened once to provide the user with instructions on how to enable the Emoji keyboard (right).

I wondered how I could improve upon these existing apps, given that the Emoji keyboard had a limited number of emoticons that couldn’t be increased. I was also curious how profitable these apps could be if they were only being used once.

I kept brainstorming until it hit me. I couldn’t add more emoticons to the Emoji keyboard, but I could include unlimited emoticons within my app that people could send as images via text message or email.

I created an app that not only enabled the Emoji keyboard, but also contained an additional 450 emoticons within the app itself, which could be shared via SMS, e-mail, Facebook, and so on. The app was used constantly since users had to return to the app to send an emoticon.

Screenshots of my Emoji app.

The Emoji app was developed in two weeks. It followed the freemium model, meaning free with an in-app purchase option. The app hit the number one spot in the App Store’s productivity category and the number 12 spot in the top free overall category within six days, raking in nearly $500 per day. Bingo.

Whenever you decide to look into emulating an app, ask yourself these six questions:

  1. Why are people purchasing this?
  2. Can I do something to emulate this idea and take it to another level?
  3. What other ideas would this app’s demographic like?
  4. How many other similar apps are in the market? (Visit TopAppCharts.com to find out.)
  5. How successful and consistent have they been?
  6. How does their marketing and pricing model work?

Step 3: Design Your App’s Experience

You’ve studied the market, you see an opportunity, and you have an idea that could be profitable. Great! Now it’s time to turn those thoughts into something tangible.

To convey your idea properly, you can simply draw it on a piece of paper. Maybe it will look like a 3-year old’s artwork, but it will still convey what you’re trying to do. Some people like putting this together in digital form, using Photoshop or Draft. Whatever you’re most comfortable with, and whatever will give the programmers the details they need, is the way to go.

For your viewing pleasure, here are the rudimentary drawings (a.k.a. wireframes) for my first app, Finger Print Security Pro. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be pretty!

And here’s how the app’s final design turned out:

To make the design process easier, I look at certain apps in the App Store and reference them to show my programmers what I’m looking for. For example, I’ll say, “Download the XYZ app. I want the ABC functionality to work like theirs. Take a look at the screenshots from this other app, and change this.” I take certain components of apps that I’d like to emulate, and give them to the programmer so that we are as clear as possible.

Highlight menu vs. Facebook menu

Notice any similarities? Highlight’s menu (left) emulated the style of Facebook’s menu (right).

The clearer you are, the fewer misunderstandings and problems you will have once it’s time to hand off your drawings to a programmer. The idea is to convey what the app will look like, where everything will be placed, and what happens if certain buttons are selected. This helps the programmer know what you want and will be a useful blueprint when designing your app. Do not be vague or ambiguous. You should know what every part of your app will do. If you don’t, you need to develop your idea more thoroughly.

You have to consider your design to be final before you can begin the coding phase. Inevitably, you will have ideas for additional features once you start testing the initial versions of your app. But if you decide to make major changes after a substantial amount of work has been done, it can frustrate your programmer. It’s like telling the builder who just installed your fireplace that you want it on the other side of the living room. The news will not go over well. Most people don’t realize this is what they are demanding of their programmer when they ask for big changes. That’s why it’s important for you to take your time and carefully plan every aspect of the app before you submit it for coding.

Step 4: Register as a Developer

You now have your idea drawn out. Before you go any further, you need to sign up as a developer with the platform for which you’re looking to create apps.

Don’t be intimidated by the word “developer.” It doesn’t mean you have to be the programmer. It’s simply the name used for somebody who publishes apps. All you have to do is set up a “developer account” so you can offer your apps for sale in one of the app stores.

Here are the links for each platform and a brief overview of their requirements.

Apple iOS *— Registration requirements include a fee of $99 per year and accepting the terms of service.

Android— Registration requirements include a fee of $25 per year and accepting the terms of service.

BlackBerry— Registration requirements include a $200 fee for every 10 apps you publish. You must have a BlackBerry World App Vendor Agreement in place with RIM (the creator of BlackBerry) to distribute apps.

* For your first app, I strongly suggest developing for Apple iOS, rather than Android or Blackberry. Simply put, Apple users are much more likely to spend money on apps. You will increase your odds of making a profit simply by developing for the iOS platform.

Also, don’t forget to go over the App Store review guidelines. Apple enforces these rules during the review process, and if you don’t follow them, your app will be rejected. For instance, you might remember seeing a plethora of fart or flashlight apps on the App Store awhile back. As a result, Apple has decided to no longer accept those types of apps. Knowing these rules can save you a lot of time and effort. If you see any of your ideas conflicting with the guidelines, reject them and move on to the next one.

Step 5: Find Prospective Programmers

Coding your own app, especially if you’re teaching yourself at the same time, will take too long. The likelihood of you getting stuck and giving up is very high. It will also be unsustainable over the long run when you want to create several apps at the same time and consistently update your existing apps. After all, the goal is to get your time back and escape the long hours of the rat race. Therefore, programmers will be the foundation of your business. They will allow you to create apps quickly and scale your efforts.

Hiring your first programmer will be a lengthy process. You’ll need to: post the job, filter applicants, interview qualified candidates, have them sign your NDA, explain your idea, then give them a micro-test… all before coding begins! But while this process takes time, it is time well spent. Making great hires will help you avoid unnecessary delays, costs, and frustration in the future. You’ll always be looking to add new talent to your team, so learning how to quickly and effectively assess programmers is an important skill to develop.

Let’s get started. The first part of this step is to post your job to a hiring site.

Top Hiring Resources

These websites allow programmers to bid on jobs that you post. As you can imagine, the competition creates a bidding frenzy that gives you a good chance of getting quality work at a low price.

Here are a few of my favorite outsourcing sites:

oDesk— Its work diary feature tracks the hours your programmer is working for you and takes screenshots of the programmer’s desktop at certain time intervals.

Freelancer— This site has the most programmers listed. They claim that twice as many programmers will respond to your ad, and I found this to be mostly true.

Guru and Elance. Both of these sites have huge lists of programmers.

 

Below is a template of a job posting, followed by an explanation for each of its components:

Click the image to enlarge.

Enter the skill requirements—What programming languages do they know? For iPhone apps, the skills I list are: iPhone, Objective C, Cocoa, and C Programming.

Give a basic description of your project—Keep it simple and skill-specific. Tell the applicants that you will discuss details during the selection process. Do NOT reveal the specifics of your idea or marketing plan. Use general descriptions, and request info on how many revisions (a.k.a. iterations) their quote includes.

Post your ad only for a few days—This way programmers have a sense of urgency to quickly bid on your job.

Filter applicants—I always filter applicants using these criteria:

– They have a rating of four or five stars.

– They have at least 100 hours of work logged.

– Their English is good.

Compose individual messages to all suitable applicants, inviting them to a Skype call for further screening. Most of these programmers will overseas, which can present issues with communication and time zone differences. Therefore, a Skype interview is an absolute must before you can continue. Disqualify anyone who is not willing to jump on a Skype call.

The Interview: Essential Questions to Ask Programmers

Don’t give away any of your ideas during this initial conversation. Whenever the topic comes up, say you’ll be more than happy to discuss everything after they sign the NDA (if you want a copy of the NDA template I use, see the bottom of this post). Here are the questions you should ask each applicant before committing to anything:

– How long have you been developing apps?

– How many apps have you worked on? Can I see them?

– Do you have a website? What is it?

– Do you have references I can talk to?

– What’s your schedule like? How soon can you start?

– What time zone do you work in? What are your hours?

– What’s frustrating for you when working with clients?

– Are you working with a team? What are their skills?

– Can you create graphics, or do you have somebody who can?

– Can I see examples of the graphics work?

– What happens if you become sick during a project?

– What if you hit a technical hurdle during the project? Do you have other team members or a network of programmers who can help you?

– How do you ensure that you don’t compete with your clients?

– Can you provide flat-fee quotes?

– What’s your payment schedule? How do you prefer payment?

– Can you create milestones tied to payments?

– Do you publish your own apps on the App Store?

– How do you submit an app to the App Store? (Can they verbally walk you through the process, or do they make you feel brain challenged?)

Finally, mention that you like to start things off with a few simple tests (creating/delivering your app’s icon and a “Hello, World!” app) before coding begins. You need to tell them this upfront so they aren’t surprised after they have provided their quote. Most programmers are happy to get these tests done without a charge, but some will want a small fee. In either case, be clear with this requirement and have them include it in the quote.

During the interview, pay attention to how well they are able to explain themselves. Are they articulate? Do they use too much techno babble? Do they speak your native language fluently? Do they seem confident with their answers? How is their tone and demeanor? If you have any issues or worries, you may want to move on to somebody else. But if you can communicate with them easily and your gut is telling you “Yes,” you’ll want to proceed to the next step.

In either case, thank them for their time and mention that you will follow up with an NDA agreement if you decide to move forward.

Step 6: Sign NDA, Share your Idea, and Hire Your Programmer

You must protect your ideas, source code, and any other intellectual property. These are the assets that will build your business, so you need to have each potential programmer sign an NDA before you hire them. Yes, it’s rare to have an idea stolen, but it does happen (read the bottom of this post if you want a copy of the NDA that I use).

As you’re going through this process, you will be getting feedback on your programmers’ responsiveness. For instance, if it’s taking too long for them to sign the NDA, it might indicate how slowly the development process will move. Buyer beware!

Once the NDA has been signed by both parties, you can share your idea and designs with your programmer. At this stage, it’s critical to ensure they have the skills to complete your app. You do not have any wiggle room here, especially on your first app. Either they know how to make it or they don’t. You want to hear things like, “I know exactly how to do that” or “I’ve done similar apps, so it will not be a problem.” You don’t want to hear things like, “I should be able to do that, but I have to research a few things” or “I’m not sure but I can probably figure it out.” If you hear those words, switch to an app idea they are confident about or run for the hills.

After you’ve found the best programmer for the job, you can commit to hiring them. Establish milestones and timelines during the quoting process (break up the app into several parts), and decide on a schedule for check-ins that you’re both comfortable with (ask them directly how they like to be managed). You will need to periodically review their work, from start to finish. Most applications go through multiple iterations during design and development, and I won’t release partial payments until I’m fully satisfied with each milestone.

Step 7: Begin Coding

Rather than jumping haphazardly into a full-fledged project, I prefer to gradually ramp up my programmer’s workload by starting with a couple smaller tasks. You need to assess their graphics capabilities, implementation speed, and overall work dynamic (e.g. communication, time zone, etc.). If you’re underwhelmed with their skills, you need to get out quickly. Remember: Hire slow, fire fast. It will pay off over the long run.

Here’s my three-step process during the coding phase:

1. Icon—Ask the programmer to create and deliver the icon of your app. You will probably have several ideas for icons, so pass them on and ask for a finished 512 x 512 iTunes Artwork version of the icon.

2. Hello, World!—Ask the programmer for a “Hello, World!” app. It’s a simple app that opens up and shows a page that displays “Hello, World!”, and it will take them 10 minutes to create. The idea here is not to test their programming skills, but to determine how they will deliver apps to you for testing. This app should include the icon they created, so you can see how it will look on your phone.

3. App Delivery—When the programmers are ready to show you a test version of your app, they have to create something called an “ad hoc” (a version of your app that can be delivered to and run on your iPhone, without the use of the App Store). This ad hoc version of your app needs to be installed on your phone before you can test it. The initial installation was a bit cumbersome in the past, but a new service called TestFlight has simplified the process. I ask all programmers to use this service even if they have not used it before. They will be able to figure it out, and you’ll be able to install your test apps with a few touches on your phone.

The first version of your app is finished and delivered, and you’re now staring at it on your phone/tablet. Give yourself a pat on the back — you’ve made serious progress! But don’t get too caught up with yourself, because now it’s time to begin the testing phase.

Step 8: Test Your App

If you were having a house built, you’d want to make sure everything was in working order before you signed off. You would check major things like the roof and plumbing, all the way down to minor things, like crown molding and paint. You need to do the same thing with your app.

To start, your app must perform as expected. Pull out your initial design document and go through every feature. Never assume that something works because it worked last time you tested the app. Test each feature every time, especially before the final release.

Most importantly, don’t be the only tester. Your app makes sense to you, but it might not to others. You need to get everyone you know, from your 12-year-old nephew to your 75-year-old grandmother, to test your app.

The time you spend on testing is crucial because you will see how consumers use your product, what features are intuitive, what they don’t understand, and their patterns. They will have questions that won’t occur to you because you designed the app and everything about it is obvious to you.

Hand the app to them and say, “Hey check this out.” Don’t mention that it’s your app, what it’s supposed to do, or how it works. Give as little information as possible and watch as they try to understand and navigate through your app. This experience will be similar to the one your real user will have, because you won’t be there to explain things to them either.

Watch them testing your app and ask yourself these questions:

– Are they confused?

– Are they stuck?

– Are they complaining?

– Are they using the app the way you intended?

– Did they find a mistake or a bug?

– Are they having fun?

– Are they making suggestions for improvements? If yes, which ones?

Get them to talk about their experience with your app. They will be more honest if they don’t know the app is yours. Don’t get offended if you hear something you don’t like; their feedback is priceless. Assess each response to see if there’s a problem with your app, then ask yourself these questions:

– Would other users have the same issues? If yes, how can I fix them?

– Should I move things around?

– Should I change colors to improve visibility?

– Would adding some instructions help?

– Should I improve navigation?

Testing and debugging will take several iterations, like the design and development stages. This is all part of the process. Don’t forget to use TestFlight to save lots of time with the mechanics of installing test versions of your app.

Just remember: If you keep tweaking things and adding features, you might unnecessarily increase costs and production time. You need to get the app on the market quickly and in a basic form to test the concept. Only redesign during this phase if you feel you have a good justification for it. Otherwise, add the idea to your update list and move forward with development (I keep an update list for each app and refer back to it when the time is right).

Step 9: Post your App to the Market

At this point, you’ve had all of your friends and family test your app, taken the best feedback into account, and wrapped up any final changes with your programmer. Congratulations – it’s time for you to send the app to the App Store for review!

It’s a good idea to have your programmers show you how to submit your first few apps. Do not give out your developer account login information to your programmer or anybody else. The best way to have them show you how to submit your app, without having to giveaway your login, is to do a screen-share over Skype or GoToMeeting and have them walk you through the process. As your business grows, you might want to delegate this task to someone on your team.

Below is a screencast on how to upload an app to the App Store. As you’ll see, it’s a fairly confusing and tedious process. Best to leave this task to your programmers:

The amount of time Apple will take to review and approve/reject your app will depend on whether you’re submitting on behalf of yourself or a company. If you’re an individual, it will usually take 3-7 days. If you’re a company, it will likely take 7-10 days.

The real fun begins once your app is approved and available for download…

Step 10: Marketing Your App

The App Store is filled with thousands of great apps, but most developers are not skilled when it comes to marketing. Meanwhile, many poorly designed apps rank highly because their developers have figured out the marketing game. How do they do it?

You really need to focus on a few key areas to effectively market your apps, which will allow customers to discover and download them. Understanding how an app’s basic elements are marketing opportunities is essential to being successful in the app business. Your job is to create a seamless flow from the icon all the way to the download button. Let’s take a closer look at these components, which you can adjust at any time from your developer account:

ICON

The first thing users will see when they are checking out your app is the icon — the small square image with the rounded corners to the left of the app title. It’s also the image that users will see on their phone after they install your app.

The icon is important because it’s how the users will identify your app. It needs to look sharp, capture the app’s essence, attract the users’ attention, and compel them to investigate your app further.

Great app icons are clear, beautiful, and memorable.

Many developers create icons as an afterthought and focus all of their effort on the app itself, but the icon is the first impression you will make on the users. The old expression “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” applies here. Make sure you have a quality icon that represents your app and makes the users believe it has value.

APP TITLE

Over 80 percent of searches in the App Store are related to an app’s functionality, rather than an app’s name. Therefore, it is critical that you help users find your app when they perform relevant keyword searches in the app store.

Source: Chomp.com

Each word in your app’s title serves as a keyword, much like keywords in search engines. You can think of the title as your URL. For instance, if you type “angry” into the App Store search field, the Angry Birds apps will return as a search result.

DESCRIPTIONS

Having a compelling description for your app is like having a great opening line — people are more willing to learn about you once you’ve piqued their interest. The first chunk of your app’s description needs to be packed with the most relevant information customers should know.

If applicable, use statements like “Top App 2012” or “One of the Most Addictive Games in the App Store.” Follow it up with a call-to-action, such as, “Check out the screenshots and see for yourself.”

SCREENSHOTS

Screenshots are great marketing tools because they give users a visual of what they will experience. Think of them as the trailer for your app. Here are a couple examples of effective screenshots:

Nike+ GPS screenshots.

Free Music Download Pro screenshots. Note the use of captions to explain the app’s features.

Many people shopping for apps won’t read the description, but will instead scroll down to the screenshots. The screenshots need to convey the main functionality of the app without showing too many details that may confuse users. If your screenshots are cluttered, it will be as ineffective as a realtor trying to sell a house with messy rooms. The brain gets overwhelmed and buyers have more trouble seeing the product’s true value. Therefore, the screenshots you include should be clean, appealing, and informative.

KEYWORDS

Unlike your icon and title, keywords are not something the users get to see. When you submit your app to the App Store, you’re allowed to provide keywords relevant to your app. When users search for one of the terms you entered, your app appears in the search results.

For example, if you type in the word “kids” or “game” on the App Store, you will find that Angry Birds is one of the search results. The terms “kids” and “game” are not in the app title. The makers of Angry Birds most likely chose those keywords to associate with their app.

A good example of effective keyword usage is an app I created called Flashlight. Since the name is Flashlight, we came up with keywords, such as “bright,” “help,” “light,” and “camping.”

One time, I added the term “phone” to the keywords of my free prank fingerprint app. This seemingly minor change propelled the app to the number one top overall free category, which moved the company’s income from $1,000 per day to $3,000 per day. This is the power of refining the marketing components for your app. Simple changes can dramatically increase your revenue.

CATEGORIES

The App Store organizes apps into specific categories to help users find them more easily. In addition to the top overall rankings of all apps, each category has its own top rankings and, therefore, generates a certain amount of visibility based on these charts. Users looking for certain apps often browse through these category charts without looking at the top overall charts. For instance, an app that doesn’t show up in the top 200 overall might still be in the top 10 of a particular category.

When you’re submitting your app for review, make sure to select the most relevant category for your app. On the other hand, many apps can be classified into more than one category. You have to choose one, but you can always change the category during an update.

One of my apps, Alarm Security, wasn’t performing well, and I was trying to bring it back up in the rankings. I initially tried changing the name and keywords, but it didn’t move much. The one thing I hadn’t tried was switching it out of the Entertainment category. The app contained various alarm sounds (like loud screams and gunshots), so I assumed users would use it more as a goof than as a tool. I was wrong.

Once I moved the app into the Utilities category, the number of downloads skyrocketed. After five days, the paid downloads had tripled, and it was only because of a category change.

Just as your app will always need certain refinements due to consumer demand and competition, so will your marketing. For most of my apps, I have changed the icon and screenshots three to five times and the title and description between 5 and 10 times. I change keywords almost every time I update apps. I always switch the categories when it makes sense. Keep an open mind and continue to be inspired by your observations during your market research.

Finally, there’s a simple rule of thumb I follow for making changes: Tweak once per week, then measure. You have to allow ample time to see the effect of any changes you make. Measure your results, then make adjustments based on your data in the following week. Your goal is to increase traffic and revenue, all while improving your users’ experience with the app.

Bonus Marketing Tactics

FREE APPS

After you’ve taken care of the basics, your best marketing tool will be offering a free version of your app. It will generate traffic and visibility that you otherwise wouldn’t get.

Free apps create the most traffic because they have the smallest barrier to entry. It takes five seconds to download, and it’s free. Why wouldn’t you push the button? Once the free version of your app gains some traction, you can use it to advertise the paid version of the same app. This is like getting those free food samples at the supermarket. If you like the sample you tasted, you might buy the whole bag and become a long-term customer.

NAG SCREENS

Nag screens (pop-ups that remind users to check out the paid version of the app) have been the most critical marketing tactic for my business. You might worry about annoying users with these ads, and that is a valid concern, but you need to think of nag screens as adding value for your users. If they downloaded your free app and they are using it, a percentage of your users will be interested in buying the paid version of your app. For those who don’t, a quick pop-up message is a small price to pay for using the free version.

You have to accept this and not shy away from this type of marketing. If you’re still on the fence, consider this: When Apple launched its iBooks app, it used a nag screen within the App Store app. If you had an iPhone at the time, you may remember seeing that pop-up inviting you to download iBooks. Well, you were nagged by the one and only Apple.

Basic nag screen (left) vs. Advanced nag screen (right). Advanced nag screens typically have three times higher click-thru rates.

When adding a nag screen, explain to your developer what you are looking for, and reference specific examples of other apps that have nag screens. Be sure you can change the nag screen without submitting a new update to the app store. To do this, tell the developer you want your nag screen to be dynamic. This will allow you to change your marketing message redirect your app’s traffic within seconds. This is an absolute must. Your nag screens will lose a huge part of their effectiveness if you cannot change them on the fly.

How do you assess the effectiveness of your nag screen? All you have to do is keep track of how many times you show a particular nag screen and how many users click “Yes” to check out the app(s) you’re promoting. This is called your click-through rate, and the higher the percentage, the better.

Final Thoughts

This is the first time in history when so many of us have the tools and access to knowledge that can quickly lift us out of the rat race. Your background, gender, race, education, and situation are irrelevant. All you need is the desire and a game plan.

You don’t have to wait till “someday” to fulfill your dreams. You can start right now…

Contest and Bonuses

We’re throwing a contest for any readers who are ready to dive into the app world. Whoever comes up with the best idea for an iPhone app (as decided by me and my team) will have 100% of their development costs covered. That’s right: You won’t need to spend anything to have your app made – all it will cost is your time and effort. This will be a great learning experience for the winner, so if money is all that’s holding you back, we want to help you get started.

Here are the details:

– You have 1-week (ending Monday, April 30, 2012 at 9am EST) to research and design your app idea. Your app should try to fill a void in the market or improve upon apps that are currently available.

– Once you’ve decided upon your idea, post a comment below with a detailed explanation of the app you want to develop. Bonus points if you can show us (with a drawing, video, etc.) how your app will function. More bonus points if you show us the research you did to prove your app’s potential for success.

– You can only submit one (1) idea (one entry per person), so make it good!

– Up to $5,000 USD of your development costs will be covered. 100% of all revenues earned will go to the winner.

– Winner gets a 1-hour phone call with me (Chad) at any point during development or marketing.

For those who are worried that someone is going to steal your idea and make a million dollars with it– you don’t have to enter the contest! Just remember: my success in the app store came from emulating successful apps. In other words, borrowing proven ideas and trying to make them better. If someone else can succeed by taking one of my ideas and improving upon it, that’s only fair game. Don’t let the fear of losing prevent you from trying to win.

Contest deadline has passed; Winner (Alex K.) has been contacted. Thanks, all!

Finally, for those who’d like a copy of my NDA template (along with the checklist I use when hiring a new coder), email a copy of your receipt for App Empire, my comprehensive book on app development and marketing, to bonus (at) appempire.com. The book goes into depth on advanced marketing and monetization techniques, including how to put your business on cruise control (automate).

We look forward to seeing what you guys come up with! Talk to you in the comments 🙂

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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951 Replies to “How to Build an App Empire: Can You Create The Next Instagram?”

  1. App idea coming shortly – does anyone know if you are allowed to offer real prizes (like iPhones, concert tickets, shoes etc) in Apple store apps? I don’t see anything saying you can’t but I also don’t see any apps offering real prizes (and I assume some would). Any advice?

    Thanks!

  2. Here is my video which explains my entry in less than 90 seconds.

    http://vimeo.com/kells/nightskyartist

    NAME: Night Star Artist

    This app will emulate the successful astronomy apps like Night Sky, Star Walk, and Sky View, where the user can point their phone towards the sky and see what constellations they are looking at.

    These apps are highly placed in the iTunes paid charts across multiple categories including education, reference and the top 200 apps. iTunes also, lists five of these apps as ‘essential apps to download’.

    Night Sky Artist will have all the navigational features of the above apps

    PLUS

    Users will be able to make their OWN constellations. Taking a real time picture of the night’s sky, the user will be able to use their mobile device to join the dots and create their own artwork.

    AND also,

    Make secret messages for friends to discover.

    Create new artwork for existing constellations.

    Finally see their name written in the stars.

    INTERACT

    Once their piece is completed, they can share their constellations online through social networking with friends.

    They can also choose to publish their artwork and hang it in the midair gallery for everyone, who also owns the app, to see.

    So, let’s re-imagine the constellations and make the sky our new canvas.

    PRICING

    – Free version of the app which limits users to publish and share one constellation (important to be able to break the market)

    – $4.99 full version of the app, no limitations on the amount of constellations you can publish. To drum up a bit of publicity and for a bonus for people who buy the full edition of the app they will get access to an exclusive gallery of well known artists’ constellations

    ******

    Thanks for such a great opportunity Chad and Tim.

    Zena

  3. Chad,

    My idea for an app is actually pretty simple but effective. I wil develop an app for a keyboard for “FATFINGERS”. Too many times have I had to delete and start over with typing because of my “FatFingers”. I will also incorporate a back and forward arrow to get to an exact spot in a word. Really no need for picture on this one.

    Thanks for reading,

    Rob

  4. Hey Chad and Tim,

    You may not always use a passcode on your iPhone, but when you do it sucks to enter. My idea is for something that you can attach to your keychain (or wristband, watch, or other thing that you always have with you), that when you are within its radius it automatically enters the passcode on your phone for you. When the phone is outside its radius you can just enter your passcode like normal. Although this is more complicated than a normal application and involves a device, to go along with it, I think it would be very helpful in making the iPhone easier and more secure to use.

    Hope you guys like it,

    Matt

  5. Chad, Thanks for Sharing.

    My idea evolved from being an tech IT guy in corporate America where the work day is not your regular 9-5, and I found myself time and time again looking at the vending machines for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Needless to say living on chips and candy bars did little to my physical well being, which adversely affected by mental well being.

    Proposal:

    Short Description – An application that will help me make a better choice when it comes to food in vending machines

    Filling The Void – All nutrition and dietary applications in the market (Android and iOS) revolve around “normal” food or restaurant meals (even fast food), none of them deal with these food items

    Proposal – The application will incorporate in it nutritional information for the various food items and all the user has to do initially is enter what is present in their machine at work, in the park, in the rest stop, etc…

    There will be two modes of operation:

    1. What is less bad? This bag of chips or this bag of pretzels? A function that will let you make the “better” choice

    2. What should I have? According to a profile the user builds have the application ask one simple question is this a meal replacement or supplement? If this is a meal replacement the app will suggest the item with the most nutritional value for that time of day (breakfast should be different than lunch), and if this is a supplement then depending if this is pre meal or post meal the algorithm will have to make a choice depending on the profile

    App features day 1:

    • A database of the top 500 items in vending machines in English speaking countries today

    • Show you how much money you spent on vending machines

    • Show you how much fat, Sodium, etc… you ingested

    • Integration with in phone camera to capture new barcodes and download nutritional

    information

    • Graphical portrayal of vending machine

    • No backend data base, all data will be local

    • Ability to add items manually

    • Incognito mode (no graphics) in case the user is embarrassed and wants to use the

    application while in front of the machine

    Future enhancements:

    • Integrate to existing health sites that track food intake

    • Create calculations for Weight Watchers

    • Recognition of food item by taking picture (should not be too complicated as these are over

    90% brand names and the technology exists)

    • Expand to food items outside the US

    • Expand language support

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Pick me…pick me…pick me

  6. Phraze Maze | The Latest Craze!

    Play with friends spell your way out!

    Ever wish you could spell a phrase while playing words with friends, now you can! Phrase maze combines the fun of word games with the fun of mazes in a highly addictive gaming experience. Use phrases or words, scrolling or stable maze display.

    People like maze’s- you tube maze game and views are in the millions.

    People like words with friends.

    This could build on their success.

  7. Wow! I woke up this morning scanning through some of my favorite websites that inspire me and influence my everyday life, business, and passions. I am so grateful I came upon this post and opportunity. Being a professional athlete, personal trainer, and nutrition enthusiast I am constantly traveling from city to city and have the most difficult time finding foods to eat that resemble my lifestyle. Foods like locally grown, organic, fair trade, wild, grass fed, and gluten free. The Paleo Lifestyle!

    My App idea is to create an App that allows you to pull up restaurants, Co-op’s, cafe’s, farmers markets, grocery stores within the city you are in that serves or has these items available. Similar to the Gluten-Free Restaurant App (Top 200 Healthcare & Fitness App) or the Organic Life App. It will have real time updates on daily special’s, menus, prices, and directions from your current location. I have not come across something like this yet and with such a large movement of people demanding to eat healthier and staying away from Genetically Modified Organisms, highly processed, grain, antibiotic, and growth hormone fed it allows them to search out the best places to that.

    Thank you to Tim and Chad for this opportunity!

  8. Chad, thank you for this super-informative post! I just wish I’d read it months ago when we first began developing our Paleo cooking app for iPad.

    We just launched the app yesterday after blundering through the whole process. I’m sure we spent too much money, lost sleep over wasted efforts, and marketed it suboptimally.

    By chance, we happened to do some of your suggested steps and, as a result, we ended up with something we’re proud of and has sold pretty well (we think). I’ve just bought your book and we’ve tweaked the app description and keywords in the App Store per your tips in this post. I’m looking forward to learning more.

    Thanks again!

  9. Here is my idea:

    There are tons of gardening Apps out there but they all appear to be missing something. Their scheduling is based on when you plan and tracking until harvest time. The innovation I wanted to add is having a plant growing schedule of when you want you food to be harvested by and then the App will tell you when things should be planted by.

  10. Great article passed on to me by a developer friend. I currently work out of my house with some online usability apps, and have been mulling over a few different mobile app ideas. I’m hoping this contest will give me the resources I would need to make the jump! 🙂

    The idea I would like to submit for this contest is going to be similar to what you did with Emoji, but with translation. Number 4 on top Paid apps today is SayHi Translate. Google Translate is a top online translation service. However, all of them require entering the language either with text or by voice. But that won’t help you if you are looking at a subway sign or a menu in characters instead of roman letters. How do you use your translator if the language is in characters? You don’t know how to pronounce it, let alone enter it into your device.

    Answer is obvious, isn’t it? Take a picture! Aim your camera at the characters you need to understand and click. The app will autodetect the characters and language (with a single-click confirmation) and then translate it for you. Even read it to you in either the original language or the target. It is your chance to travel like a native instead of having to stop and ask for directions every step of the way. And order food like a pro instead of pointing at the next table and asking for some of that.

    The great thing about this app is that it wouldn’t have to start from scratch. There is a market, there is a need, and there are translation services that have already broken the ground in getting good automatic translation out there. There are also a lot of great options for rendering and recognizing visual input. This is just a great chance to put it all together and make some income off of the value-added.

  11. Contest entry:

    My idea is a modification to the current app for Pinterest. Currently Pinterest is the 2nd largest social network after facebook. In a few short months Pinterest has become a house hold name and a major player in the social networking world for women and men alike. Pinterest overthrew Twitter and MySpace for the top social networks in a very short time period and I believe Pinterest has a substantial amount of growth still to come.

    I am a husband and father and my wife uses Pinterest almost hourly for ideas, hobbies, recipes, and just about everything around the house. She is constantly frustrated with how the Pinterest website is so great and how the Pinterest app is not so great for the iPad and is mediocre for the iphone/ipod touch. However this app has received 4 stars by users and I believe that is because the users love Pinterest on the iphone/ipod touch and not because the app is incredible.

    Now I want to preface my idea by saying that I read this article in the middle of last week and my time was extremely limited to work on this, but I have always wanted to get into app designing and this article/contest has given me the opportunity and motivation to do so. So, yes this is very amateur, but I have to start somewhere.

    I have made a quick YouTube video of my drawing for a few pages of the app and have explained some of my ideas on improving it. So thank you for giving me this opportunity and I appreciate the time you are taking to look.

    This is a passion of mine and I hope to win this contest, so I can take my dream to the next level.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnSaShjIj2A

    http://youtu.be/RnSaShjIj2A

  12. Hi Chad and Tim,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with the rest of the aspiring entrepreneurs!

    My Idea is as below:

    1.Product

    The idea is a mobile food application that serves as a trustworthy guide in providing users with the best and new chillout places in the country based on reviews from critics and local food bloggers. It is also a social media platform that that allows users to share their favourite dining places with their friends in a fun and engaging way.

    This app will keep users updated on the latest establishments with collated content on the best food places from various popular food blogs in Country. By working with various new establishments, this mobile application can provide users with exclusive in-app promotions, allowing them to enjoy great savings as they dine at selected food places.

    With unique gaming feature, like personal avatars, browsing online food guides will never be a boring experience again. Each user will have a personalised character which will level up and grow over time as they accumulate points through recommending friends to food place, writing reviews, using promotions and many more. With each level up, users are entitled to better exclusive promotions to reward them for being active members of the community.

    2 Customers

    Our customers can be classified into two groups: Mobile application users, mainly between ages 18 and 35, and merchants from independent cafe and bars.

    To our users, we pride our product in being a trustworthy food guide that provides information for a great social dining experience. Our research has shown that recommendations and reviews from friends and popular critics are what users want the most – a function that is lacking in current mobile food applications. Our aim is to fill this gap by merging ratings and reviews from popular food blogs in our application, and at the same time, enabling individual users to write reviews and recommendations for friends. It will be similar to how rotten tomatoes bring in critics reviews to rate different movie on their website.

    For the independent cafés, bars and restaurants, this means that a large group of potential consumers will possibly see their establishments as a good chillout place through our platform. At the same time, we will constantly be updating users with new chillout places, so that these new establishments have an additional avenue to market themselves to potential customers and increase awareness about their promotions.

    On how our app is going to be display to users, we have set Houzz iphone and ipad app as out benchmark. One thing that matters to the users is how the restaurant ambiance and food is, so we will show them with a set of gorgeous photos for each restaurants. Of course I know that this app idea require frequent updates and lots of content, but I believe with proper planning an outsourcing especially to the food bloggers who will be more than willing to provide content on the subject they have passion for, the work can be reduce to just a few hours a week. And this app will certainly makes many people happy now they have a great guide to the chill out places in their area!

    Thank you for your time and consideration. Hope to hear from you soon!

  13. Wow, I love “how to” posts that are written with such great detail!

    Name of app: Photobombz

    How it works: you take a photo or use an existing photo, and by tapping on the screen of your phone, you can cut out part of that photo that you want to add to another photo. Photo 1 – cut out your piece of fun, photo 2, the photo that it gets added to, and then lastly, you have photo 3, i.e. the combo of the two, which you can post to any photo sharing site.

    Why it’s needed: There are plenty of photo editing apps out there, but they’re all complicated, and this works on simplicity. Things like adding the nyan cat to the war room screen of obama, adding the squirrel that was so popular a few months ago to a family photo, etc would all now be possible. I’ve seen an app where you can blend shots, and an app where you can crudely cut out the face of someone/something, but nothing simple, where you can cut out and blend a shot. As a bonus, you could add text or thought bubbles to it, for the the full “meme” effect.

    Target audience: anyone who likes to post something fun on Facebook, Tumblr, etc.

    It’s entertaining and fun, it’s simple, and it builds upon other types of apps that are out there.

  14. Hi Chad

    Can you explain if outsourcing developers is better than giving half of equity away to a developer or vice versa? Also, if outsourcing dev, do you also outsource the ongoing tweaking & should that be discussed before the development contracts are signed?

    Thank you

    Amber

  15. **Contest Entry**

    Name: “Yonder”

    Platform Emulated: UStream

    Why It’s Special: Lowering the unemployment rate one download at a time (or: an INCOME PRODUCING app for the user through advertising commissions.)

    The Idea:

    Shouldn’t you get paid for bringing traffic to advertisers?

    I want to create a live streaming app for multiple platforms which will connect people worldwide instantly as events unfold. The user experience of this app will consist of a “Cameraman” (CM) who will stream live to a central hub and a Viewer who can choose any channel they want to watch from this hub location. An unlimited number of Viewers can watch any CM’s channel.

    Imagine being able to log into Yonder where a tornado chaser is streaming live from Oklahoma while in pursuit of a massive tornado just a few hundred yards away; or a traveler is walking the Great Wall of China; or choose from more than 50 camera angles at the World Cup; or get a rare glimpse into a foreign country as it’s citizens protest tyranny; or simply log in to watch a family member get married on a private channel.

    The Cameraman’s Experience

    Yonder will be an income producing app for the CM in an effort to incentivise more streaming and better content. Relevant advertising to the content of the live stream will be presented on the Viewers’ screens which they can click to view. When a Viewer clicks the ad or purchases from the advertiser (depending on ad agreement) the CM will get a commission split with the House (me). The CMs who choose to earn commissions will pay a monthly subscription and others will pay a one-time fee.

    Yonder will utilize existing platforms such as Click Bank to assign an affiliate source code to each CM to track their commissions.

    CM will log into a central hub which will automatically determine geographical location. In addition, CM will enter additional tags such as specific event name like NFL Super Bowl, Daytona 500; specific location such as Great Wall of China or Vegas Strip; or even custom tags such as “South TX Deer Hunt”.

    While streaming, CM can select an option on screen to Tweet link to live feed or share on their Facebook to generate more traffic to their live stream.

    CM will also be able to utilize Evite directly from their Yonder account to invite their followers to a future live stream.

    All CMs will have a credibility rating system similar to an Ebay feedback rating. The higher the rating; the higher the commission up to a pre-determined maximum. Each CM will have a personal profile page within the app and a Yonder web page where anyone can watch the CM’s live stream from their computer as well.

    The Viewer’s Experience

    The Viewer will “Go Yonder” and enjoy the ease of navigating and locating their preferred live streams. Each channel category on the main navigation page will appear to be a TV with a live stream currently playing. I imagine it looking like a TV control room with many TVs playing different channels creating an exciting visual experience (if possible).

    Viewer will have multiple search options such as scrolling through choices, spinning a globe and clicking on “flags”, custom search field, favorite CM bookmarks, most popular, “what others are watching”, etc.

    Viewer can also Tweet or share/like live stream on Facebook.

    Non-Mobile Device Streaming

    It would be cool for someone with a regular live feed from a non-mobile device to have the ability to stream through the app’s hub. Example) Helicopter in Los Angeles following a car chase; Nascar Dash Cam; NBC “ground team” exclusive coverage of Olympics, etc.

    Thanks,

    Appless in TX

  16. App idea:

    With this app idea I am intending to make the world a cleaner and greener place by challenging people on an individual level.

    The app will contain a number of different changes each of us can make in our lives to decrease the size of our own individual ecological footprints. These changes each have a relative point value depending on how difficult they are. By trying to incorporate as many of these changes as possible users obtain a score that can be boastfully uploaded to Facebook or Twitter.

    It’s called EcoChallenge.

    Challenge yourself.

    Thanks for reading,

    Adam

  17. My newest app idea is a cross between temple run and everyone’s favorite level from Mario 64, where your character (Mario) is sliding down an ice slide and you have to avoid falling off.

    In my app (Tentative name: Ice Slide), the round would start with you sliding down an ice slide that curves in both directions, you would have to lean the phone to turn and swipe in either direction to roll your character to make it around the sharper turns. There are breaks in the ice of different lengths where you must swipe up to jump over. There are also enemy’s in various spots on the ice that you must tap the attack button (near the bottom of the screen) to take out and gain points. You can also gain points from power ups you can collect through the track.

    Like Temple Run, the ice slide would be continuous, being randomly generated each new round, becoming more difficult as round time increases. To add another element, I was considering adding a challenge a friend component, where you and your friend would both be given the same track and whoever collected the most points would win. The map would be generated when Player 1 challenged and Player 1 would be able to complete the map and his score would be revealed to Player 2 after Player 2 completion (much like turn basis in Scramble).

  18. Hi Tim,

    Yes, ditto to the above comments for bringing Chad in on this subject.

    Hi Chad,

    Thanks for your time in the write up, because if I win this contest or not, I just was presented with the fuel I needed to make my idea come to life. But up until Monday, I didn’t know it was going to be an app. :.)

    My 11th Hour Entry – DietOrb

    After reading the post on creating apps Monday, I just got the biggest slap in the face ever. It was exactly what needed to figure out how to channel what Tim may call my “body hacking” idea into a mobile app.

    If chosen as the winner, I will detail how I will make DietOrb happen below Chad & Team.

    My Background:

    First, let me say I have NO previous experience in anything mobile, much less app creation. I live pay check to pay check like many others today, and maybe my only advantage coming into this particular effort was my side job of creating web sites for friends and family to make ends meet. This gave me the ability to throw together an entire web site around my contest entry, and to hopefully* present my idea to the fullest.

    For the last few years, I have been toying with body hacking ( I stole Tim’s term from the 4HB ) by using safe electronic frequencies that our bodies operate on daily from brain to organs. Something even the likes of Tesla have tinkered with. Now, also combining Isochronic tones, which are body beats that enhance whatever your designed sound is aimed towards, and voila, I had the sound the human body was looking for to lose weight on the particulars I was using.

    After tests with friends and family with success, I have also wondered how to distribute to the masses who could use this virtual exercise in order to boost metabolism, and thus encouraging weight loss. Without going all scientific here in my statement of entry, the website provides much more explanation on this niche blend of tech and science for any curiosity seekers out there.

    Back to the app idea – considering sound sessions were what I needed to get in the hands of the masses, and no matter where those sessions were held, then a smartphone makes for the perfect spot – through an app of course. The diet industry is large and evergreen, and DietOrb can be used anywhere for today’s fast paced lifestyles.

    My Slap:

    After reading Chad’s article, it hit me quickly, so quickly I registered the domain name for the app the same day (Monday) You can even check the WHOIS records for anyone wary of the long nights I have pulled this week. After the domain, I had the hosting, and a hack job website up and going before even knowing how I was going to make this happen, I just knew somehow it was on.

    Now, I know part of the rules, I can’t list my URL here, and respectfully so. Considering how active I have been, you can now just Google the term “DietOrb” and be presented info on material I have put out so far. But easier, just head to DietOrb (dot) com

    In less than 1 week I have built and described what I would turn the app into. As I built the site, I envisioned what I want the app to be in the coming months. I have built a social following, a custom video and distributed through YouTube and Vimeo, and already caused a breakout discussion around the app’s focus in a forum that generated 20 responses in a matter of minutes, cluing me to further research that I was heading in the right direction.

    Everything you will see on the site has been built this week alone. I had no clue or indication of this whatsoever Monday when I started, but following Chad’s advise above, it simply flowed from my mind into a complete idea.

    Working 3-4 hours each night until my eyes were burning, I have busted to get this site up and a way to express what my app would consume and the benefits it will provide.

    Some nights were design, some nights were content writing, some nights were researching competitors or cold calling friends and family, and even a cashier at a pizza delivery service, and the more research I did, the more I got excited that nothing like this really exists in an app. The diet industry is huge, and just a little experimentation in this concept and hitting mainstream on Dr. Oz – then DietOrb could be a brand overnight. Chad says build the next Instagram – and I took that to be “lose a gram in an instant” considering my weight loss focus.

    Done so far:

    Secured domain

    Named App

    App icon design

    Website design

    Website content & sales copy

    Elected for iPhone and Android both

    Secured social branding

    Tested concept to 40 people, with a 92% buy/yes rate

    Research competition

    Found a PR service for apps

    Bid my idea out to Odesk for development

    Built primitive UI mockups

    Custom video and distribution

    Selected a charity for 20% of sales (my very first task)

    Basic SEO of the site

    If selected as a winner, it was important for me to have how I would give back and keep the positive momentum going. That was done by selecting Kids Against Hunger, who help resolve child hunger in the US and around the world. I committed to 20% of all app purchases going to this cause.

    How I would monetize:

    The app would be free for the first 500 downloads, then moving to a paid model of .99 cents for further testing. Depending on popularity and volume, it could move to a free version that is ad supported.

    However, I would like to build a SaaS eventually, enabling users to upload their data and track and discuss among each other privately, so the app could very well stay at the .99 price point as additional value and features will be provided. All known after the testing Chad has recommended.

    How I would use the budget:

    2300.00 – iPhone App Development

    1400.00 – Android App Development

    1000.00 – 20% as committed to Kids Against Hunger

    160.00 – Press Release To App Sites

    100.00 – Apple Developer Account For Submission

    25.00 – Google Play Developer Account For Submission

    15.00 – Chad’s App Book to learn more

    Total = $5000

    How I would use my 1 hour of time with Chad:

    First, I would ask if I could break up into 2, 30 minute sessions. :.)

    The first session would cover final insight before submitting the app for development.

    The second session would cover insight after the first week on the app stores to evaluate.

    So now that I have gotten past the should I or should I not, here is my entry and 2 cents. Now hoping for the 98 other cents needed to make it happen.

    Thank you for the information and ignition! Head over to dietorb (dot) com to see the plan.

    Best of luck to all the entries, some great ideas I have read above!

  19. Once Upon a time…………….

    Words: FUN, TIME, WORK, CUBE, OPPORTUNITY

    Dan wrote:

    There were these two guys who worked in the CUBE world

    One day they had a great OPPORTUNITY come their way

    They only had a week, so they spent precious TIME at the coffee shop

    after WORK crafting an extremely FUN app to pitch.

    Words: EXCITING, CHALLENGING, FRIENDS, REWARD, ADDICTIVED

    Jon wrote:

    The app is so EXCITING I can’t stop writing.

    The words are not only fun but CHALLENGING at every turn

    I can’t wait to see what my FRIENDS write and see how may REWARD points we have added

    I’m ADDICTED!!!

    Words: TWIST, CRAZY, WEBSITE, DOG, IPAD

    Sally wrote

    This story is getting CRAZY! Love the word TWIST in it!!

    After we are done we can post it to their WEBSITE

    and all of our FB and Google friends and get the extra points?

    I use my IPhone and IPAD so I can keep up on all my stories,

    Ok, that’s my turn, have to feed the DOG, I can’t wait!!!

    Words: BEGINNING, STORY, PITCH, HAPPY, FRIENDS

    Dan wrote:

    And so begins the STORY for these two guys, a wonderful contest

    A GREAT NEW APP CALLED “STORIES WITH FRIENDS”

    And a PITCH that offers an

    exciting BEGINNING, Snap!!!

    …..continued (see our attachment for the rest of the story)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuaQ_rT6bN8

  20. My idea is to build on the yoga apps that are already out. Quite simply I would use an animated rubber chicken as the yoga model and range of Chicken noises and expessions to liven up the poses. I am banking on the fact that everyone likes a rubber chicken as a gimic. It would have practical and entertainment value.

    Like all the other posts, I think Chad has done a sterling job putting this together.

  21. *** Contest Submission***

    Name: Cane Toad Splat.

    Cane toads are large, heavily – built amphibians with dry, warty skin. In other words they are “just plain ugly” They are in epidemic proportions in Far North Queensland and can literally turn a country road into a sea of “toads”. They come out at night and cause a calm ride home into a dodgem-toad game.

    Idea:

    This idea has been brainstormed with the target market in mind – Heavy users of game apps – My 6 and 7 year old boys. My two boys have been using apps since they were 3 and have a firm belief of what is ‘hot and not.’ They have a book of app ideas that they have developing and drawing up and after reading Chad story and offer, i thought this may be the ‘holy grail’ for their app business to blossom.

    Concept:

    “Cane Tod Splat” is exactly that ! Driving in a pickup truck on a dirt road at night splatting cane toads. Throughout the levels other animals and reptiles are introduced, i.e. the crocodile, the snake and of course the cuddly animals being the Roo and joey.

    Research:

    Emulating the success of some of the 25 top game apps. ” Ski Safari, Fleece, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja etc. CTS is just as easy to operate, it is fast and a simple way to test your skill.

    The boys have drawings for their concept, however, i am just working out how to scan them and send them to you.

    Thanks for this opportunity for Charlie and Oliver to submit a concept for the competition.

    Regards, Lisel (Mum)

  22. First of all, thank you for an amazing article. I loved every line of it.

    App Idea –> A gaming app where people can predict the winner / score of games i.e. There is NBA game between Mavs and Lakers, Users can predict the score/winner before the game start and share on their FB / Twitter / Google+ etc. If their prediction was right, they will get points and most importantly bragging rights on their social networks

    Why it would work ? –> Looking at Android and iOS application store, games are the top downloads. Combining applications, sport and cool bragging rights will attract a lot of people.

    Who would use it ? –> With proper marketing who would not ? How many people we see talking smack about their FAV teams on facebook ? If all of these people had a way to predict / share / earn bragging rights, they will use it.

    Challenges — > (1) A simple / cool / fun UI (2) Marketing

  23. Tim and Chad,

    I was just wondering in reading the diversity of all these ideas what would be your criteria to rank them for the contest ?

    Majority of all of them are around entertainment/games/ social /travels and I did not see any (except one 🙁 ) around health and current medical challenges ?

    Would you create a contest per category ?

    Now if the plan is to build an app quickly profitable, the right move is definitively to copy the current hits in term of apps and all of them are around entertainment…….but where is the innovation ? By when a contest to move from APP.0 ( purely entertainment) to APP.1 ( Really useful)?

    Having said that great initiative on your side and if you have any envy to explore the medical/health business….:-)

    Cheers

    Jml

  24. This was an exciting post and very informative! I’ve given it some serious thought and now present to you….

    TOUCH TOUCH DANCE

    Presentation and screenshots:

    goo.gl/i24yO

    The game:

    “This is the best idea I’ve ever come up with!” – Leor

    “Touch Touch Dance is revolutionary!” – Leor

    “5*+ I wish I could rate this idea higher!” – Leor

    “***** This is pure genius. I’m addicted” – Leor

    (more on why I added these quotes below)

    Touch Touch Dance is a game that allows you to create a physical connection with anyone else using an iPhone or other mobile device. Tap on your iPhone screen and be connected with a random partner. The more you’re able to move in synch with each other and keep your fingers touching the same point at the same time, the more points you receive.

    More points unlock new visual effects and earn you dance status.

    Each round lasts for 30 seconds. During the round, you’ll be able to see where your partner is moving and can lead them through suggestive movements. Your movements will leave a trace and the trace’s color will change depending on how in synch and connected you are with your partner. Aurora borealis and firework type effects will appear if you’re particularly well in synch with your partner. After a round, you’ll be presented with your score and then can continue and be connected with a new random partner.

    There is a sensual aspect to this game – you can choose to be connected to members of the same or opposite sex, or random partners (or it can be completely non suggestive by not revealing your dance partner’s sex). You and your dance partner are both touching the screen at the same time and trying to read each other’s thoughts and determine where you’ll move next based only on where you’ve both touched the screen. It’s just you and them connecting and in tandem.

    More points means that you’re better at understanding how people move with you. The game can include dance offs and even link you to the most similar partners of your preferred sex.

    Marketing:

    The game will be offered for $0.99. A free version that allows you to play against a computer will also be made available with a nag screen after each round to upgrade to the live version.

    The analysis:

    I review the top 50 apps listed in the Apple App store and here’s what I found…

    – 36 of 50 Top Paid Apps were games!

    – Positive reviews used words like “addictive” or “challenging”

    – Most top apps used bright icons that were predominantly blue, red, or orange

    – The quickest rising apps (e.g. Draw Something!) involved interaction between multiple players

    – Apps that are consistently on the top have some type of puzzle that increase or varies in complexity

    – Popular apps add captions to their App Store screenshots

    – Top apps use LOTS of text in their App Store description

    – App descriptions start with raving reviews for top apps (this is why I added these above)

    – The most common price for Top Paid apps is 99 cents

    Where’s the void?

    – No synchronous, simple-to-us gaming apps (all use asynchronous communication)

    – No gaming apps that let you touch someone

    More on this idea in the presentation below. Enjoy!

    goo.gl/i24yO

  25. After thinking about some app ideas I came up with the following:

    “Connectent.” :

    What :

    An easy and nice way to share your contacts with others in a formal or informal setting. Share all your information in just one click

    How:

    1. By creating a QR tag on the screen of the sender which leads to the personal information of this person. This information has been logged into our system database and can thus also be called upon without the app itself. The receiver uses his app and presses *receive* so that either by camera or Bluetooth the QR tag will be uploaded with all the information.

    2. Instead of a QR tag the information will be loaded with means of a profilecode which will be received by the receiving party, making a camera not necessary which would be convenient in a dark room.

    Functionality:

    The App allows for the creating of a own small personal *business card* which will then be stored into a mobile database. On the business card it is possible to fill in your:

    1. Name

    2.Adress

    3.Age/date of birth

    4. Email

    5.Phonenumber

    6.Facebook/twitter/linkedin/ other social media

    7.Websiteadres

    8.Picture

    9.Adress of the company ( possibility to link to google.maps )

    10. Profession

    11. Others

    The app will also hold the function to create different folders in which contacts can be stored. So will it be easy to keep all contact from one company in a profile or all the contacts of a certain level. Multiple possibilities are possible here.

    Finance:

    1. Free app ? Only possible to display a basic set of information such as name, age, site, profession etc. Creating your own card in this model will be limited. Includes advertisements.

    2.Private version. 0.99 dollar / 2 dollar . functionalities are unlocked here and no advertisements.

  26. I don’t care what anybody else says. I want the Free Lunch! 🙂

    This idea has been around my head before the contest and I wanted to develop it specifically for the Philippine market. I’m not a programmer and I’m not rich so I’ve all but given up on the project. Sooner or later, somebody somewhere will come up with it especially if I divulge it in public. 🙁

    The Pitch:

    “Wouldn’t it be great if somebody came up with an app that has the same functionality as cafepress.com?”

    The Research

    It fills a void in the market. There is no cafepress app. All t-shirt apps are not for designing and printing tshirts, they are catalogues for somebody else’s work. Cafepress started in printing T-shirts then moved to mugs, bags, and wherever.

    The Concept

    A guy suddenly has an impulse to create a T shirt. Tomorrow he has a date and he couldn’t find “I’m with sexy” (or whatever pickup line you have) T-shirt. He picks up his iphone, opens the app, doodles some word or an arrow and adds a picture from his phone.

    He presses print Tshirt, inserts apple id info, clicks OK, sleeps and right at the doorstep next day, he gets the coveted shirt.

    Not yet sold, read on…

    An assistant suddenly had an impulse of an idea when his superior suddenly forgot promotional items for this week’s campaign. He whips up an iphone and started to press some buttons and took some pictures from the office. Voila, after much approval, they send a large order. ceo is so happy, we get so rich.

    It’s no surprise, this is how cafepress sells itself. But they want you to access their site on a browser. Laptops and even iPads are bulky, so if you have the spur of the moment idea, it’s easier to get caught in an iPhone and dream away your design. You hit Safari and it loads Cafepress slow and suddenly, it uses flash and your at a dead-end.

    “How I wish there was an app for this?” You would say.

    The setup

    The app is simple. Designs I could provide if I find them somewhere buried in my “It’s over, move on” pile.

    They get to design using an in-app paint program that gets to load pictures. The program displays a miniature version in a shirt so the user can choose sizes and material. He then clicks print.

    credit card info can be through Apple ID or Paypal. Number of items and mailing address in it too.

    The order is sent by email which we process immediately and queue as mail-order to a tshirt printing company who dropships it for us along with our wonderful message and receipt.

    Auto-piloting the muse would involve the app emailing the client’s orders to the Tshirt printing company itself.

    This was basic functionality that I got to dream of so far before I even had an iphone. After the above post, I realized we could contract the programmer to make it “sociable.”

    – Users can tweet, or post it on facebook just like instagram

    – Have other followers or friends comment on your design before print

    – have instagram photos get printed on it

    – Users can save their work on an online site or online store just like cafepress

    Throwing it in the failed muse pile

    My main problem was geographic location. I’ve read 4hourworkweek original and the revised version. I’ve tried a muse before but it didn’t pan out because I have to contact mostly US-based companies using a US corporation we’ve built with my cousin who is there in the US. He backed out. I was stuck with the knowledge of 4hww but with ignorance from US trade laws and procedures. I’ve decided to just stick local.

    Cafepress would probably come up with this app sooner or later. But after 2 years of waiting, cafepress didn’t.

    Nobody did.

    If you guys won’t consider it, it stays buried in my muse cemetery. Oh well.

    Anyway, this is one pitch I’m willing to give away. Thanks! I had a great time reading your post.

  27. Chris/ Tim,

    Fantastic post – thanks for the info.

    My iPhone app idea targets:

    – The most popular age category (53% of all apps)

    – The highest-growth category (23% growth)

    – A demographic which accounts for 72% of ALL top-selling apps

    All details (with market research and hand-drawn sketches), about the app are on this page:

    http://www.thecouchmanager.com/toddlerapp/

    Cheers!

  28. Hi Chad ad Tim,

    “Bull Run”

    I love app games and have been impressed by the popularity of the game Temple Run http://www.google.com.au/trends/?q=temple+run&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0 my idea is an improvement and variation of that game into a new “run game”.

    My research indicates run apps are increasing in their popularity http://www.google.com.au/trends/?q=run+apps&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0 . This game called Bull Run would be a freemium app where you are running from bulls that break out of a old barn in one of Spain’s abandoned ghost towns (http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/23/10825053-scenes-from-an-abandoned-spanish-village?lite ). The game would have an old feel to the graphics/lighting like in the photos in the link. There is a similar bull running game avail in the apple app store but is a too gory and not much fun to play and has terrible graphics and is in a modern setting and expensive to purchase.

    Like temple run the objective is to perpetually run and collect coins (Spanish Doubloons) and you can turn down different streets left or right or go straight ahead by swiping the screen. Along the way you have to jump over crumbling walls, old pots, carts, boxes, hay bales, etc to avoid slowing down. If you slow down too much the bulls get you and you have to restart. The Doubloons you collect can be used for upgrades, power-ups or to change or customise your character (including your characters sex).

    Love the quantity and quality of info in your post. Thank you!

    This post serves as intelectual property.

    Thanks Olly.

  29. I have an idea for an iphone/ipad game that is beyond my capabilities to create. Possible names could be Rush Hour or Road Rage. The game will look like classic Spy Hunter and the original Grand Theft Auto, as in an aerial view of cars and streets as if driving a car around on Google Maps. It can be steered by turning the iphone or ipad.

    Objective:

    To drive your car from home and to work before the timer runs out while trying to maneuver around other drivers, construction, police, etc. who want to slow you down. Other missions would be to try to complete multiple errands by getting to the destinations before the timer runs out. For example: Get from work to the softball game and to dinner before the time runs out.

    Enemies:

    Truckers: Pull in front of your vehicle and slow you down

    Police: Chase you and pull you over

    Construction Workers: Close roads and chase you while throwing orange barrels at you.

    Power Ups:

    Speed Boost – Temporary burst of speed

    Guns – Car is temporarily armed with machine gun

    Ez Pass Token – Turnpike token that allows you to drive quickly through a level, unstopped for a limited time.

    In App Purchase:

    Monster Truck,

    Sports cars

    I have included screen shots to Spy Hunter and Grand Theft Auto for visual references. I think it would be a fun game and I haven’t seen anything like it in the app store.

    Thanks.

    http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h428/jsc37/gta_3.png

    http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h428/jsc37/gta_2.png

    http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h428/jsc37/gta_1.png

    http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h428/jsc37/gta_3.png

  30. Personalized Deals Finder

    Description:

    App bringing you shopping deals and discounts based on your current location and your interests. It supports many countries and many deals providers (Groupon, LivingSocial and many more).

    Why I think this app has a potential for success:

    The official Groupon app is number 1 free app in the Lifestyle category. There are also few 3rd party apps such as Ultimate Groupon which best ranking was number 24 paid app in the Lifestyle category.

    My app would support more countries, more deal providers but most importantly have more useful features than these existing apps. People love shopping and are always looking for bargains to save their money. Websites offering daily deals are successful all over the world.

    Features and how this app will function:

    • Some existing apps are limited to Groupon and few other deals providers. But there are many successful deal websites not just in the USA but in Europe, Asia, Australia… My app will support most countries and top deal providers in each country.

    • It will show you deals from your home location. It will show you deals from your current location by using GPS that determines your location. So when you are travelling you can save money on restaurants, local attractions and other shopping.

    • Deals from non-English speaking countries will be displayed both in a local language and in English. Many local people over the world don’t understand English so we want them to be able use these deals as well. English translation will help tourists to buy deals when they are abroad.

    • This improvement is perhaps the most important one! I love receiving email with daily deals from Groupon and other companies. But they are sending the same deals for everyone. I am a man, I will never buy a make-up or weight loss offer! ? Unless of course I’m looking for a gift for someone else. My app will have a simple ranking algorithm so the most relevant deals for you will be at the top! This ranking will be based on the following:

    o Demographics – When people install this app it will ask for their gender, age, location and maybe few more optional data (income, has kids etc.)

    o Personal interests – When people install this app they can optionally provide their interests and hobbies (for example: traveling, skiing, reading…). Deals related to these interests will rank higher.

    o Previous behavior – When you click on some deal, it will remember this category and next time rank deals from this category higher. Similarly if you are not clicking on deals that are displayed at the top of the list, it will move these categories lower.

    • Gift feature – Sometimes you don’t want to buy a deal for you but as a gift for someone else. You can create a profile for your girlfriend, brother, mother… and fill out their basic information (demographics, personal interests…). Then you can switch to their profile and it will display deals that are relevant to them.

    Possible obstacles for this app:

    • Updating – If this app supported for example 100 countries and 5 deals providers on average from each country that would take a significant time to update it with new deals. Solution: Some big deal providers support API access so it can be programmed to update automatically. Smaller providers would require to manually adding new deals. This can be outsourced to someone who will update it daily. Also this app can start with few countries and biggest providers and when it starts making money we can add more countries and more deal providers.

    • Localization – Deals from non-English speaking countries must be displayed in a local language and in English as well. Solution: Starting with English speaking countries, adding more countries later and outsourcing a translation.

    Monetization:

    • There will two versions of this app – free and paid. Both can be monetized with affiliate links to companies providing deals.

  31. Idea:

    Sleep Tracker

    – Tracks amount of sleep you get, stores it in a fancy graph, calculates average per night, tells you if you’re below or above your average, etc

    – Self quantification is an up-and-coming market. A sleep tracker is a great way for people to get more control over their health without having to spend hundreds on a Zeo or something similar.

  32. Thank you for the very inspiring and informative article.

    Muse Background.

    After reading 4HWW, the first ‘muse’ I tried to create was the Grabbit case for iPad: a hard case with a leather handle in the back that allows you to hold on to your iPad securely and comfortably while viewing it in landscape or portrait orientation. It also comes with a hardcover and a removable ‘moviewall’ clip for viewing from a desktop or the wall.

    App Idea.

    Noticing that the Grabbit case is more attractive to business users, I would like to create an app that compliments the Grabbit and the iPad in a Signage app. The app would allow users to use their iPad like a Billboard on Times Square! Users, such as chauffeurs, tour guides, and fair-traders to hold or hang up their iPad like a sign, with a stylized message. For example, large animated high-contrast messages moves across the screen allowing users to display customized text showing “Mr. Smith, ABC Limo welcomes you to New York”, or “Walking Tour Starts Here!”, or “Free Sample, Booth 119”. Sports team supporters can hold up flashing red and white text “Go Bulls!”.

    While existing banner apps do exist, mostly in a ticker format, I believe there is room to emulate and improve: style/fonts templates (allow users to choose : “Modern” “Fan” “Classical” for example), and allow companies to add Logos, etc. A Freemium strategy will promote trial and unleash more functions, styles and options.

    In short, the goal is to create an attractive graphical billboard display app that compliments the Grabbit accessory. more sex appeal and less of just a message board!

    Thank you for you consideration. Any feedback welcome.

    May the Force be with you.

  33. Hi Tim/Chad

    This an amazing post, very informative and it really inspires people to get started! Here’s my entry:

    “Sartorial Me”:

    My app idea is a social fashion experience that allows users to:

    Create and organise their own personal online wardrobe (by taking pictures of clothes and tagging them online)

    Share with friends and other like minded fashion savvy people

    Mix, match and schedule outfits daily

    Keep up to dates with the latest trends with a recommendation function*

    Keep Fashionably Organised:

    Take and upload photos of your closet items or new purchases using Phone.

    Tag your uploaded item into categories:

    Categories can include:

    Shirts

    Pants

    Shorts

    Dresses

    Skirts

    Sweaters

    Outerwear

    Shoes

    Handbags

    Bags

    Swimwear

    Accessories

    Mix, Match & Schedule clothes to wear using items in the wardrobe to create their own looks or even turn to the genius fashion recommender for inspiration.

    Genius Fashion Recommendations:

    Genius Function in app allows you to choose desired style (e.g retro, classy, bohemian style), and searches latest images in top fashion blogs and sites and through a unique algorithm, it makes recommendations on how you can mix and match your current items in the wardrobe to achieve the desired look/style.

    If you lack certain items, it also makes recommendations to where to buy them – additional revenue stream through referrals.

    Other uses

    Browse your closet while shopping to check if what you’re shopping for will go with what’s already in your closet.

    Upload your Look of the Day photos, and give opinions on your friend’s outfits.

    Sell items on through a marketplace

  34. Contest Entry (Kevin Caldwell)

    Overview: I’m proposing an app that will provide a vast market — parents of school-aged children — to be successful during meetings with their son or daughter’s teachers. This app will fill a void in the market.

    Detailed Version: There are over 65 million school-aged children in the US alone…and naturally, even more parents. No matter the school—public, charter, religious-based, private- – about 89% of their parents and guardians meet with their children’s teachers (US Census Bureau data). Unfortunately, these meetings often cause anxiety or confusion: most parents aren’t sure what to ask, how to get the information that they want or how to say it. As a result, many parents sit quietly, listening to what the teacher has to say and end up not having the conversation that they really wanted.

    Currently, there isn’t an app to address this need for this enormous population. There are apps to schedule parent-teacher interviews, apps about parenting and apps to assist teachers with their job. But there isn’t an app that provides parents with the immediate, tailored and reliable support that they could use during a meeting with a teacher.

    With over 15 years of educational experience and hundreds of parent meetings (…and mostly positive, in case you were wondering!), I have been compiling the content for such an app. What I don’t have is the money or the skill to make this app on my own.

    Users would purchase the app that suits their child’s grade level : elementary, middle or secondary. After entering the child’s gender and first name, they would navigate to the questions that they want to ask, for example : a generic academic inquiry (e.g. too much/too little homework), a specific academic concern (e.g. why their child is struggling in a particular subject area) or social skill question (e.g. interpersonal conflicts). Within a few moments, the user has a selection of clear, concise and effective questions ready to read: “I’m concerned about how Chad is doing in Reading. Where do you think he’s having the most difficulty? / What strategies have been successful with him in the classroom? / What can I do with him at home to improve his reading?”

    Obvious questions? Perhaps they might seem that way, but they are rarely asked. Parents are often at a loss for words or are worried that it might come out wrong. No one wants to offend their child’s teacher, bring up a sensitive topic or sound stupid. Now parents can focus on the answers instead of sweating over the questions. They’ll have the appropriate and intelligent questions that they want right in front of them.

    Nothing is more important to parents than their children. This app would empower parents, no matter where they are, to advocate on behalf of their kids and ultimately give them a better education and future.

    And as a result, I believe this app will be very successful.

    Thank you for your consideration, Chad and Tim.

  35. FUNNY LUMINO ALERTS:

    Here it is: one of the most easy and useful app I could think about,

    from my point of view as being a IPhone user. Really simple to develop and for everyone!!!

    You can take a look of the whole idea which I wrote down on paper and load in this link. Hope you like it, because I will be looking forward to get it devoloped and available in the Appstore so I will be able to download it for myself in the first place.

    🙂

    This is it: the link where you can read the details and explanation:

    http://imgur.com/a/6bhp1

    Alicia R L

    And have a nice day!!!

  36. my idea to apps is make game with title:KILL THE BIRD

    the concept is to join playing of angry bird and ninja fruit. In the angry bird main story is the angry bird but in the kill the bird,you have to kill the bird that will destroy your building use your ninja skill.

    why it will work:no body going to be bouring with game and angry bird and ninja fruit stiil to be top chart of the game in apps

  37. Paper Planes Creation:

    Everybody used to try to create the best paper plane. The kid with the coolest plane got a lot of respect. In those days they used to ask each other for the best tips and tricks. However nowadays kids can turn to the internet. This is where our app comes in which shows them step by step how to create the perfect and most outrageous paper airplanes.

    There is already an app, The Paper Plane Guy’s Construction Kit!, that does this, but it is priced at $3.99. If we slim down the features while retaining quality I believe we can undercut this app and compete in this niche. Because in essence it is about creating cool paper airplanes all the fluff is unnecessary in this instance.

  38. Howdy!

    I have taken my time to research an app idea that could target moms/dads/serious planners that have not just one but MANY schedules to manage:

    Name: PULSE: The Soccer Moms Dream Calendar

    Concept: Here is a link to my rough sketch of the app (read from top left to bottom right)

    This calendar app can be linked to any pre-existing calendars (i.e. Google, Yahoo, etc) as well as can be synced to events on Facebook that will automatically update your “Master” calendar.

    The first step is to link to you calendar to whichever e-mail/calendar you choose. Next, you will be taken to the “Master” Calendar where you can ADD (+) your family members calendars (whether prior existing or one created directly into the app). Based on comments on apps like CalenGoo, being able to customize the app is important, so when adding a calendar you can customize the name, the color associated with that calendar’s events, and be able to associate a widget/emoticon with that individual. The “Master” calendar can be viewed in month, week, and day views by sliding the page up/down.

    The event’s/calendar can also be shared, let’s say, with a FB friend, or your spouse or significant other that also has the PULSE calendar. Each event can also be set to “Private” and will not be shared with synced with another calendar.

    When adding an event, you can select the name of the calendar that the event is associated with. For example, my son Bobby (fake kid/name) has a soccer game at 3pm on Friday. I select “Bobby’s Calendar” from the drop down, add the event/time/place, and the event will be added to his and my Master calendar. You can also MAP the location of the event for easy navigation/time management purposes. Finally, you can set up the event as recurring or not.

    The most important aspects of this app include it’s ability to sync with multiple calendars, its customizable options, and the ease of use for that hectic mom that has to plan every minute of her day to take care of her family. It also provides a way for her to share her busy schedule with her spouse so that he/she knows what’s going on/when. NO MORE EXCUSES! SET THE PULSE IN YOUR FAMILY TODAY!

    Note: this message serves as intellectual property.

  39. Great post guys! I read it on Monday and decided that I wanted to really test out these principles with a fresh app idea and then go through the rigor of following the process you laid out here Chad.

    It was a great learning experience for me because it helped me go through the process from start to finish. Instead of submitting an app that I’ve been working on for a while I wanted to come up with something new for this contest. I am half way through the development of a business app for my company (@ExumaTech). But for the contest I started out fresh to see what transpired as I went through the process.

    In addition I decided to track the time expended on this effort since I know how much Tim loves time management. I wanted to test how long it would take while maintaining a reasonable level of quality. Regardless of the outcome of the contest, this was a fun and rewarding learning experience.

    Here’s the break down on time:

    1. Market Analysis (5.75 hours)

    2. Idea Alignment with Successful Apps (1.25 hours)

    3. App Design (2.5 hours)

    So the entire process took me 9.5 hours. (An additional 3 hours went into creating the video and posting the idea here).

    Here’s the app idea:

    StitchaVid is a video and photography app that allows people to “stitch” together a video using photos in their iPhone or iPad gallery. You not only can choose the photos you want to use, but the app gives you a number of background music choices, the ability to add scrolling text and various filters, as well (and this is the differentiator!) the ability to add voice annotations and snippets.

    It is a FREE app. Revenue is generated by in-app purchases of extended snippet capabilities, voice filters, image filters, branded images (e.g. rock bands or sports teams) and copyrighted music.

    This app merges together great concepts found in Viddy (the #1 FREE app), SocialCam and Animoto. All the research, including screenshots and statistics can be found at http://camcollins.com/2012/04/how-to-build-an-app-empire-my-concept-for-the-four-hour-work-week-app-challenge/

    The video of the app mockup can be found at http://stitchavid.com (Yes – I bought the domain after reading the post).

    Thanks Chad for giving me the motivation to help step up my game!

  40. Dear Chad,

    You wrote in App Empire…

    “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it” – Henry David Thoreau…I love this quote because it really succinctly captures the cost of entrepreneurship. But…

    …there is a second tier of entrepreneurs, those who will give it a go, to make a few extra bucks but don’t want to give it everything (PS. ..that’s not me!). These entrepreneurs are the majority, they are the “Tupperware” party hosts those that give it a go, can see an opportunity to make some extra. For these guys and anyone who wants ‘a discount’ I have an App. I have discussed this App with my wife and her friends, all have said they would use it, absolutely.

    Background:

    Groupon had explosive growth. The proposition is great, mega discounts, timed and limited offers, with viral to friends.

    My idea:

    Groupon but better (i.e. no sales distribution costs, sort of open source distribution!). At a time of austerity measures many are looking for a discount or looking to make extra money. So the idea is for an app where users type in a major brand or product that they want to buy with an x% discount or particular price. Other users then join this purchase group, which drives the product ranking in a particular category. At any moment any user of this app can contact the product company involved and negotiate a discount for the user group. This person will negotiate an amount of money that they want, in exchange for having done the deal, so that the user group gains gain the discount.

    The beauty of this is that a group of friends can seek a local discount virally in a restaurant, shop etc and any one of them, or any other person can get the discount for them (AKA ‘the tupperware leader’). That is why my wife’s friends were so interested. The entrepreneurs can be auto alerted, as can discount seekers etc etc.

    Conclusion

    Many want discounts. Many want to make some extra money. Many like working together for the same ends. This is a game changing sticky fun app 🙂

    …but Chad, forgive me…

    I’ve ‘exchanged some of my life’ for some time, on this app and saw your competition as an opportunity to bring it to fruition. And because of this, I don’t want to provide more yet, by video or drawing…

    ..it’s available immediately, if I win.

  41. Woof Woof Apps: Family Arcade Game http://www.flickr.com/photos/hirutbuddy/show/

    How It Works: Chase Lucky Game-The Purpose Is To Entertain And Get the Players Addicted So They Will Return To Purchase The Upgrade Game

    -The goal of the game is to get Lucky to eat as many coins as possible, and get Lucky to his destination without getting hit by the bomb or getting caught by his enemies. To get Lucky to his destination to visit his friends, Lucky has to eat $5000 worth of coins. The coins are added to the players bank. Coins can be redeemed for prizes. When Lucky gets to his destination, Lucky says, “Woof Woof” and dances with his friends.

    -Levels consist of 5 places Lucky will travel through to get to his friends. African Safari-Lions chase Lucky, the moon-aliens chase Lucky, Ocean-sharks, Antarctica-bears, Desert-scorpions.

    -The buttons on the 1st page of the App are Lucky, all the places he travels to (levels), and Lucky’s enemies (5 animals and aliens). Button for pick a level, button for bank (keeps tracks of accumulated coins Lucky has eaten. Example: “Touch Lucky, he is traveling to visit his friends, help him get to his destination safely to win $5000 coins. Buttons for directions on how to play the game, and a visual and practice before game starts.

    -Ex. First level is Safari-the game starts with an arrow pointing at Lucky and says touch Lucky to start, when the player touches Lucky the lions come out, and the player must keep finger and move him while the lions chase him on the prairie and over the trees, as Lucky runs, the eats the coins on his path, but must avoid the bombs, player must push button for Lucky to Jump over bombs and trees as the lions chase him. If Lucky reaches his destination, he says “woof, woof” and dances with his friends (other dogs).

    -Player gains $5000 dollars to put in bank and can choose a prize. This is just the gist of the game.

    -I will add buttons that the other games I am emulating do not have to add value to the game. A help, music, volume, a bank for coins, more characters to chase Lucky, a variety of places in the world Lucky visits to be visually appealing (character to), good relaxing music-the kind you cannot get out of your head, character names and visuals,

    My Research: Using Chad’s 7 Traits of Successful Apps

    Games are always the top sellers. I investigated and analyzed data of 3 top games that are very similar to each other. I chose an adventure games because these types of games were on the top charts for apps in the App Store. These games are engaging and can be played by family and are in demand by a wide audience in a large demographics range. The games I chose to emulate are “RacePenguin”,”Rocket Chick”, and “Tiny Wings.” My research lead me to a very popular and old game called TinyWings. Tiny wings was so popular that this trend created to more games that emulated this game called RacePenguin and Rocket Chick. According to my research of the App Store and the reviews of customers who have played these games I chose to emulate these types of apps for this contest. Also, according to Chad’s criteria of a

    To determine if the App idea I was creating would be successful on the market in the App Store, I utilized and plugged in Chad’s 7 traits of successful Apps and compared it to my app. I also made sure the three apps I was emulating also met these 7 traits of successful apps. These apps like TinyWings have a history of success with consumers. My research also showed that the most popular of all time apps are ones that are simple, fun and addictive with unlock levels and in-app purchases or franchises such as ‘Angry Birds seasons’.

    Chad’s 7 Traits of Successful Apps: Analysis of “Lucky’s Adventure Apps

    To determine if my app would meet all of these requirements, I first analyzed the three apps I chose to emulate to see if indeed they did meet these requirements.

    (TinyWings, RacePenguin-still on the top 25 apps for free and paid as of 04/28/12), RocketChick –on the top charts in App Store for paid and free apps as of 04/28/12, and the classic app and forerunner TinyWings. I analyzed the customer views for these games and my own hands on experience of playing these games. All these games met the 7 successful traits and this is why they have been successful and continue to be successful. Customer reviews showed consistent remarks that these 3 games were addicting, fun, relaxing, easy, entertaining, that they liked the music and graphics, and exciting. They said they would recommend it to their family and friends.

    Now Let’s Analyze My app “Lucky’sAdventure

    Fun and Entertaining: fast moving, easy, does not require a lot of thinking, will create cute, visually appealing characters and setting for game.

    Intuitive and Simple: the player puts his finger on Lucky and moves him, pushes button for Lucky to jump over bombs.Directions are simple, repetitive, routine with excitement

    Engaging: this game has many engaging features including the relaxing music, cute and visually appealing characters, the game is fast and exciting because it is a chasing game. The variety of settings, characters, choices-not too many, music, and incentive to acquire $5000 coins to put in a bank is very engaging.

    Addictive: this game has the potential to be very addicting because it is emulating three major addicting and fun games. The game is fast, relaxing, appealing to the eye.

    Cross-Cultural: this game can be translated in Spanish and Chinese, the game is still the same-easy and fun, kids to grandparents can play this game. It is safe, graphics and cute, no bad language or violence.

    Great Graphics and Sound: relaxing music, great graphics and setting, sound is appealing to the ear, graphics of characters and setting appealing to the eye and unforgettable. Sets it apart from other games in a big way.

    Viral-Exciting: yes because it is emulating three games with a history of excitement noted by reviews and raving fans.

    What Value Will I Add:

    -I have added more buttons for reference, variety of choices to chase Lucky around the world, choices of who chases Lucky, the bank and the money Lucky gets for the players, button for Lucky to Jump, more levels with purchase, more visually appealing and better music, graphics are original, faster paced, more obstacles involved for Lucky than for TinyWings to add more adventure.

    Chad and Tim, I have placed a video of pictures describing my app as specifically as possible. Forgive me for the art work quality.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hirutbuddy/show/

  42. (this is a re-post, does not look like my first took, thanks!)

    Hi Tim,

    Yes, ditto to the above comments for bringing Chat in on this subject.

    Hi Chad,

    Thanks for your time in the write up, because if I win this contest or not, I just was presented with the fuel I need to make my idea come to life. But up until Monday, I didn’t know it was going to be an app. :.)

    My 11th Hour Entry – DietOrb

    After reading the post on creating apps Monday, I just got the biggest slap in the face ever. It was exactly what needed to figure out how to channel what Tim may call my “body hacking” idea into a mobile app.

    If chosen as the winner, I will detail how I will make this one happen below Chad & Team.

    My Background:

    First, let me say I have NO previous experience in anything mobile, much less app creation. I live pay check to pay check like many others today, and maybe my only advantage coming into this particular effort was my side job of creating web sites for friends and family to make ends meet. This gave me the ability to throw together an entire web site around my contest entry, and to hopefully* present my idea to the fullest.

    For the last few years, I have been toying with body hacking ( I stole Tim’s term from the 4HB ) by using safe electronic frequencies that our bodies operate on daily from brain to organs. Something even the likes of Tesla have tinkered with. Now, also combining Isochronic tones, which are body beats that enhance whatever your designed sound is aimed towards, and voila, I had the sound the human body was looking for to lose weight on the particulars I was using.

    After tests with friends and family with success, I have also wondered how to distribute to the masses who could use this virtual exercise in order to boost metabolism, and thus encouraging weight loss. Without going all scientific here in my statement of entry, the website provides much more explanation on this niche blend of tech and science for any curiosity seekers out there.

    Back to the app idea – considering sound sessions were what I needed to get in the hands of the masses, and no matter where those sessions were held, then a smartphone makes for the perfect spot – through an app of course.

    My Slap:

    After reading Chad’s article, it hit me quickly, so quickly I registered the domain name for the app the same day (Monday) You can even check the WHOIS records for anyone wary of the long nights I have pulled this week. After the domain, I had the hosting, and a hack job website up and going before even knowing how I was going to make this happen, I just knew somehow it was on.

    Now, I know part of the rules, I can’t list my URL here, and respectfully so. Considering how active I have been, you can now just Google the term “DietOrb” and be presented info on material I have put out so far. But easier, just head to www DietOrb (dot) com

    In 1 week I have built and described what I would turn the app into. As I build the site, I envisioned what I want the app to be in the coming months. I have built a social following, a custom video and distributed through YouTube and Vimeo, and already caused a breakout discussion around the app’s focus in a forum that generated 20 responses in a matter of minutes, cluing me to further research that I was heading in the right direction.

    Everything you will see on the site has been built this week alone. I had no clue or indication of this whatsoever Monday when I started, but following Chad’s advise above, it simply flowed from my mind into a complete idea.

    Working 3-4 hours each night until my eyes were burning, I have busted to get this site up and a way to express what my app would consume and the benefits it will provide.

    Some nights were design, some nights were content writing, some nights were researching competitors, and the more research I did, the more I got excited that nothing like this really exists in an app. The diet industry is huge, and just a little experimentation in this concept and hitting mainstream on Dr. Oz – then DietOrb could be a brand overnight. Chad says build the next Instagram – and I took that to be “lose a gram in an instant” considering my weight loss focus.

    Done so far:

    Secured domain

    Named App

    App icon design

    Website design

    Website content & sales copy

    Elected for iPhone and Android both

    Secured social branding

    Tested concept to 40 people, with a 92% buy/yes rate

    Research competition

    Found a PR service for apps

    Bid my idea out to Odesk for development

    Built primitive UI mockups

    Custom video and distribution

    Selected a charity for 20% of sales (my very first task)

    Basic SEO of the site

    If selected as a winner, it was important for me to have how I would give back and keep the positive momentum going. That was done by selecting Kids Against Hunger, who help resolve child hunger in the US and around the world. I committed to 20% of all app purchases going to this cause.

    How I would monetize:

    The app would be free for the first 500 downloads, then moving to a paid model of .99 cents for further testing. Depending on popularity and volume, it could move to a free version that is ad supported.

    However, I would like to build a SaaS eventually, enabling users to upload their data and track and discuss among each other privately, so the app could very well stay at the .99 price point as additional value and features will be provided. All known after the testing Chad has recommended.

    How I would use the budget:

    2300.00 – iPhone App Development

    1400.00 – Android App Development

    1000.00 – 20% as committed to Kids Against Hunger

    160.00 – Press Release To App Sites

    100.00 – Apple Developer Account For Submission

    25.00 – Google Play Developer Account For Submission

    15.00 – Chad’s App Book to learn more

    Total = $5000

    How I would use my 1 hour of time with Chad:

    First, I would ask if I could break up into 2, 30 minute sessions. :.)

    The first session would cover final insight before submitting the app for development.

    The second session would cover insight after the first week on the app stores to evaluate.

    So now that I have gotten past the should I or should I not, here is my entry and 2 cents. Now hoping for the 98 other cents to make it happen.

    Thank you for the information and ignition! Head over to dietorb (dot) com to see the plan.

    Best of luck to all the entries, some great ideas I have read above!

  43. Hi Chad!

    This is a very very very nice post! (did I emphasized that enough);-). I’ve been praying for such step by step approach for creating application from those experienced developers but they have been greedy and keeping this as a secret, with you of course as an exception. I really do believe now that there is a god! He answered my prayers and opened the gates of heaven and handed this article to me on a golden plate with all the angels of heaven singing alleluias in the background.

    My buddy Jay Ar and I are both working our asses here in the UAE. I’m an accounting professional and Jay Ar is an AutoCAD professional. We’ve noticed that in this part of world where business is leveraged on the knowledge and technology of the westerners or other advance economies, tradition and culture is still very much part of their daily lives. This means meeting people still involves long chats over tea or shisha and of course business cards from everyone. It is a headache receiving so much business card from a number of business associates and then trying to input them one by one to my phone. I’m the kind of person that really would like to have all the contact information of my business associates and friends organized in my phone. From cellphone numbers, fax numbers, office address…etc. and of course it should come with a picture of my business associate.

    We did some research in app store and found few scanning applications which are very lousy. Because of those lousy apps we developed a false sense of confidence. We thought we have an idea that would make us millions but to our disappointment, when I was chatting with my wife (she’s in the Philippines right now) she told me that there is already some apps similar to what we were thinking. I checked those business card scanner applications and they are almost the same as our idea. We were really heartbroken and almost gave up on our plan to enter your contest. Good thing though my wife read your article and she told me that you do not require an original idea. An enhancement of an existing application would be enough to enter your contest. So here we are now mustering all our courage and wits to enter your contest.

    Here is our take on the business card reader application:

    Warning: my buddy Jay-R and I were both drunk when we finalized this idea. You said have fun while creating the app, so we did!

    Working Title: Neo Phonebook

    Features:

    A. Two ways of obtaining contact information:

    1) Picture of the calling card

    From the picture of the calling card taken from the picture application of I-phone the “Neo Phonebook” application converts the picture to text using the same technology as the popular Evernote application.

    2) QR code or bar code scanning

    QR code or bar code that are printed on the business card is scanned and then the contact information will be taken from the source website defined (facebook, linkdn,or official company website) by the contact person.

    For both 1 and 2 above, other contact details are taken automatically by “Neo Phone” from the following websites:

    a. Facebook

    b. Linkdn

    c. Yahoo account, Gmail account, etc.

    d. Official website of the company of the contact

    The following information would be extracted:

    1. Picture or Logo

    2. Name (First and Last Name)

    3. Company Name

    4. Mobile Number

    5. Fax Number

    6. Iphone number

    7. Email address

    8. Apple ID

    9. Web page

    10. Home or company address (this information would be used in the Maps Feature)

    11. Copy of the business card

    12. And other information can be added as desired (e,g. Schools)

    All of these contact details would be automatically populated in the “Neo Phonebook Application”.

    B. Editing feature

    After scanning and getting the information from the source websites, the contact information can be edited in the edit screen and then saved. Any conflicts (e.g. same contact number or name, etc.), would be notified by the “Neo Phonebook” before contact details are saved. A special algorithm would be used to identify potential conflicts such as Howell vs. Hwell so that all names would have all contact information that it should own.

    C. Old Contacts Importation

    Existing contacts in the old phonebook application can be extracted to the “Neo Phonebook” through the importation feature. Conflicts would be identified in the Diagnostics Screen and can be edited and then saved. This would take a little effort and time as the information needs to be set up. However, after this initial extraction and editing, getting information of the new contacts is easy gliding. Again, all other information will be taken from source websites (facebook, linkdn, etc) and then will be decided by the user to include them or not in the “Neo Phonebook”.

    D. Maps Feature

    Since address information is automatically taken or manually defined, the map feature using google earth or yahoo maps can be used. All other features of the said two map application would also be functional. Location information can also be edited if not accurate.

    E. Security Feature

    There are times that we would like to hide some of our contact especially if our phone is being used by other people. The security feature would hide these contacts and can only be accessible through password. Received and missed calls from these hidden numbers are also hidden and can only be accessed through “Neo Phonebook” and with the use of the password, of course.

    F. Contacts in the Cloud and recovery

    All contacts saved in the “Neo Phonebook” would be saved in the cloud. Any contacts accidentally deleted can be retrieved from the cloud using the recovery feature.

    G. Cross platform and device synchronization

    Since all information are in the cloud, all devices (e.g. Iphone, ipad, mac, etc.) having “Neo Phonebook” would also have access to your contact. Other devices in other platforms (e.g. android and blackberry) with this application would also be able to have access to your contacts through the cloud. I’ve included this cross platform feature because I understand that some people do not have only one phone. Especially, in here in Abu Dhabi where people carry at least three phones (most popular are iphone, blackberry, and Samsung).

    H. Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, etc. Synchronization

    Most people have email accounts in Yahoo, Gmail, etc. and would like all their contacts synchronized in all their accounts. “Neo Phonebook” has the ability to synchronize with these email accounts and provide organized data. No need to transfer contact information from your phone to your email account manually, vice versa. The “Neo Phonebook” will do that for you.

    I. Phone Number Location identification

    Even though iphone has caller ID, it does not have a caller location identification which from my experience here in Abu Dhabi would be useful. I receive too many calls from abroad but do not know where these people are. I still need to Google their phone number just to know their location. With “Neo Phonebook”, area code of a long distance call and even service provider will be identified. Even local numbers service provider will be identified. Isn’t great not to wonder where these people are calling you from!

    J. The Neo Business Card

    There would be a time that business card will be totally obsolete and you would no longer need to carry them. Or maybe you just ran out of business card during a conference. Do not worry! With the Neo Business Card feature of “Neo Phonebook”, all you need is scan the neo business card created by “Neo Phonebook” which is shown on the screen of the phone of your new contact. Automatically, all contact information is transferred to your “Neo Phonebook” using the same a QR code or Bar Code scanning technology. Business card design can customized through this functionality and then can be sent to other “Neo Phonebook” users.

    K. SMS, Email, Calls,

    Normal phonebook functions such as directing user to SMS, Emails, Calls, etc. are all functional in the “Neo Phonebook”.

    L. Name Origin Facts

    As a fun feature of “Neo Phonebook”, facts about the names can be obtained. Ex. Howell is a welsh name which means imminence.

    M. Categorization of contacts

    Have a work life balance they said! There are times that we would like to separate our work life from our personal life. Through “Neo Phonebook” we can categorize our contacts as personal, professional, etc. You will not be confused anymore if the guy calling is your friend or just a person sitting next to you in the office.

    N. General features

    – SIRI would be fully functional in the “Neo Phonebook”.

    – Universal Search and Advance Search feature is included. Universal search is for simple search using a key word. In contrast, Advance Search is finding contacts by filling up contact information fields (e.g. First Name, Last Name, Company, Location, etc.) to narrow down the search.

    – Language can be change. This is very useful here in Abu Dhabi as over 200 nationalities live and work here.

    – Skins can also be change from different downloadable skins such as metallic, leather, etc.

    We have created a very rough graphic representation of the “Neo Phonebook”. Please see link >>>>> http://www.scribd.com/doc/91734469/Neo-Phonebook

    I know this idea of ours is just a twist of other business card scanner applications available in the app store but the edge of “Neo Phonebook” is its flexibility (customizability) that would appeal not only to professionals but also to the young ones. The objective of this app is not just to obtain the contact information of the business associates and upload it to your phone. It aims to be a tool to have people physically interact with each other specifically the younger generation by approaching a person and asking for their contact information in a more sleek and stylish way befitting their generation. It also aims to lessen the clutter in your life by consolidating all your contacts from different sources (yahoo, facebook, linkdn, gmail, etc.) under one umbrella on the Cloud, which can be shared by all your devices across different platforms.

    Hope to hear your comments on our app!

    Thanks again and more power!

      1. Thanks Brian!

        We really hope that this idea of ours comes into fruition. If we do not win we’ll try our best to make this app available. Hope you’ll be the first one to download it!

        Ciao!

      1. Thanks charmaine! actually, we have already started developing this app. Hopefully, before May ends we’ll have it available in app store. Hope you download it!

        Ciao!

  44. TheHookUp

    A cross-platform, social networking, group-messaging app which allows you to communicate with a select portion of your social network. The point is to be a few clicks away from communicating with exactly who you want to communicate with. With this app, you give to the exact people you want, and get from the people you trust. It’s like a facebook/twitter/craigslist all rolled into one. You have the power to control exactly who of your social network you are communicating with.

    The app is based on “haves” and “wants.” I may have something that is no longer valuable/of use to me, but I know someone out there would benefit from it. And instead of blasting my entire social network, I home in on the people most likely to need/want what I have. For example, say I am a musician, and I have a guitar I want to get rid of. Within a few taps, I can send my “have” to just my music friends. Another example: I know of a babysitting job for this coming Friday night, but I can’t take the job, so I can send this “have” to just my nanny friends. Notifications will come in the form of a text message/email/facebook notification/and/or a push notification within the app.

    The user can decide whether to import their address book, or they can simply create their own contacts within the app. Facebook friends and lists, twitter followers, GooglePlus, and/or LinkedIn groups and contacts are imported into to the app (as decided by the user). The user can choose from say, their facebook lists (close friends, family, coworkers etc) and/or can create custom groups with the app (chicago friends, nanny friends, music friends, etc). After entering their “have” or “want,” the user then selects the exact group they want to send to.

    You can add pictures and video to your “want” or “have.” Possibly a geo-location feature as well, so you can HookUp people physically near you. There is also a ‘public’ option. You can make your “have” or “want” public if you so desire, so perhaps it is searchable via search engine.

    Problems this app is solving:

    • Saving time

    • Getting things to/from the exact people you want. Your Want/Have goes directly to the person’s inbox/textmessage/fbooknotification

    • Don’t have to keep checking a website to see if anybody has something you want or anybody wants something you have. For example, fbook marketplace/craigslist-keep having to check it. This way, things are coming straight to you/going straight to the people you want

    • Keeping things in your ‘circle of trust’

    • Not blasting the world with your biznessss

    • Less annoying for others, and for you

    $$$- this is a free app with ads, with the option of a paid version

    Marketing- make a “youtube commercial” with the style of the googlevoice commercial

    With the Gaming App market saturated, social apps are on the rise.

    WhatsApp is a top 10 paid app — there is demand for social networking/group messaging apps, but still room for improvement and extrapolation.

    Visuals for TheHookUp are already designed.

    Thank you for your time and consideration!

  45. Hi Chad,

    Thanks for such an inspiring post and a great prize – I’m now full of ideas, but without the necessary funds to invest in the initial development I’ll end up sitting on them for months – I’m keeping my fingers crossed you like what you read below…

    Following your thought process I began scouring the app store charts and noticed a trend within the utilities section for apps that offered functionality one might assume comes as standard on an iPhone. Most of these apps aren’t what I personally desire, however I envisage a subset of users who switch from their old handset to an iPhone – when they discover a certain functionality does not exist they then head to the app store to fulfil their needs.

    Enter… ‘iSpeed-Dial’

    Simply, the core functionality of the app allows users to place icons on the home screen of their device which when pressed immediately dials the number of a chosen contact. Usefulness of the app is extended by allowing users to define the image of each icon from a pre-set or uploading their own (eg. a contacts picture taken from the address book/iPhoto/camera), as well as defining the action that occurs when the button is pressed. I envisage the primary use case to be phone calls, however equally iMessage, email, Skype etc. would be included as well.

    I have sketched out the rough flow here: http://www.scribd.com/rmoore_87/d/91731787-2012-04-29-16-53

    About 15 similar apps already occupy the app store, however they fall short on several counts:

    – Many have not been updated for some time and have low star ratings due to crashes and iOS compatibility problems

    – The majority of those that do work do not function as I have described. Instead, you must open these apps to be presented with your ‘speed dial’ contacts, effectively displaying a cut down version of your address book presented via a different interface. I do not consider this to be a true ‘speed dial’ as by opening an application first the number of gestures required to call a contact is increased.

    I found only one app that actually offered similar functionality to that I describe (which is great, in that I intend to mimic the technical implementation and know it can be done) – however even this app can be improved upon – the user interface is poorly designed and clunky, the resolution of photos used in the icons is poor (it has not been optimised for the retina display) and the extended features such as iMessage, Skype etc. are not included. In addition, the application was clearly not developed by a native English speaker as the app store text does a poor job of communicating benefits or functionality, the screenshots used do not work hard enough to remedy this and to top it off, the icon design is awful!

    Clearly I think I’m on to something, but I’ve looked to substantiate my idea in some hard data. Using the site xyologic.com I was able to gather approx. sales figures for other apps. The similar app referenced above has 35,000 sales, with 2,000 occurring in the last month – other applications in a similar vein with better descriptions but poorer functionality have up to 100,000 sales. Even those apps that no longer work still sell in small numbers! I’ve additionally used Google’s keyword tool and there are approximately 8,000 searches a month for ‘iPhone Speed Dial’ and I also discovered it to be a popular topic for iPhone newbies to raise in the Apple support forums.

    I intend to sell the app for $0.99 and once build is complete I will build a web presence using a simple wordpress template optimised for iPhone products and utilise adwords/SEO to capitalise on Google searches. I will also create and maintain a Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin presence for the app to regularly engage with users and to build trust with potential buyers that the app will continue to be supported through iOS releases (I sometimes find the faceless nature of some app developers to put me off purchasing).

    I wholeheartedly believe I can use the investment you’re offering to turn this concept into a reality – taking the profits and using this to follow up with app number 2.

    I would also be interested to know when the winner will be decided! 🙂

    Regards

    Robert

  46. Hi Chad and Tim, here is my idea:

    http://goo.gl/QICvG

    It’s a game based on a very addictive gameplay with cute and funny factors. It feels kinda exciting to have such an opportunity because as I laid out the plan, I wish I can be downloading the game and play it right now with my friends! 😀

  47. My app idea will be very similar to the popular computer game “run”. In this game you are some kind of space creature (object) and you are running through a space looking setting. Your creature would be running on 3 dimensional cubes/rectangles jumping from cube to cube. But if you cannot jump onto the next cube because its too high, too far away, etc you can jump to the side or underneath the cube, and the world/setting will rotate so you are back in upright position (how you were before). The layout of the game would be in landscape rather than portrait. My idea is to have a top leaderboard and coins that you can get (or buy, in-app purchases) by running through each level. You can save your coins up to unlock a new avatar or clothing for your avatar or just different level scenarios. I’m thinking that the game can have different “map packs” that you can buy for maybe $0.99. I am thinking that the game should have a story mode (about 30 levels) and a survival mode. IN the story mode you will not have hearts, but when you fall of the cube you will just return to the beginning of the level and keep on playing the level until you beat it. The game would be called Run3D.

    Since I am a middle school student in 7th grade there are many various games that my friends and I play in school. The most popular game is “run”. Kids in my school are obsessed with it. They are always saying how they want it to be on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. While reviewing the Apple “App Store” I found that there are different categories like “Top Free”, “Top Paid” and “Top Grossing”. On the top paid and top free about 70% of the apps are games, and on the top grossing the same amount are games but most of the games are free. So the app will be free and it will have in-app purchases, because free apps with in-app purchases get more money (according to top grossing).

    The links to my pictures are:

    http://www.shareimages.com/image.php?60861-pZSel5ShmZyllqeSm6M-run_3d_page_1.jpg

    http://www.shareimages.com/image.php?60862-pZSel5ShmZyllqeSm6M-run_3d_page_2.jpg

    http://www.shareimages.com/image.php?60863-pZSel5ShmZyllqeSm6M-run_3d_page_3.jpg

  48. I have more than twenty app ideas that I’ve been told would all be really useful. But the one I would like to share and have always wanted to was an app that tells you where you can and cannot park in highly populated metro areas.

    What I mean is that when I first moved to Los Angeles, I got 5 tickets, and my car towed in the first month. I thought how nice it would be to have an app that takes your GPS location and tells you where you can legally park with the times, days, and other things you would be obligated to.

    As a bonus for the app, I would like to possibly add another side option that gives you numbers to all the local tow yards since, if you’ve ever had your car towed, it’s never where they say it is.

    I’m a poor college student, so a contribution to the developers fee would be HUGE!!!

    Thank you for your time.

  49. Hi Tim, Chad et al,

    Firstly can I join the line of people queuing up to thank Chad for writing and Tim for posting up this awesome, awesome content. It’s immensely helpful and could not have come at a more opportune time for me.

    I’d like to submit my idea for entry into the competition. The working title of the app is “The Social Six Pack”, and it is both a six pack focused fitness app and a mobile social network rolled into one.

    I have created a blog that outlines the app, the underlying research and thinking, the topline marketing strategy and primary functionality of the app here:

    http://socialsixpackapp.wordpress.com/

    Many thanks for taking the time to read and consider me for your competition. May the best idea win!

  50. Contest Entry:

    Memory with Friends,

    Currently, there are many different types of memory game apps offered in the i-phone app marketplace. Our research has shown that they do not offer the ability to play against friends directly (Example: words with friends, scramble with friends, etc). This is the gap in the memory app market we are trying to fill with Memory with Friends.

    Memory with friends will allow friend ‘A’ to play round one having their total time recorded. After they successfully complete round one it will then be sent as a challenge to friend “b”. Friend ‘b’ will have to complete round one is a quicker time then friend ‘a’. The competition to win round one will be decided in a best out of three scenario. After round one is finished, the winner will be awarded a point and both friends will move on to round two, which will be more challenging.

    Memory with friends is a simple and addicting game that allows friends to compete each other in a simple way. Please see the link attached to view our prototype drawing.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13434102/App.doc

  51. Thanks to Tim and Chad for the great content and the inspiring work to keep us engaged in the process of creating our own 4HWW. I read through ALL of the comments (there are a lot) and was stoked to see so many great ideas and potential start-ups. It’s cool to see the excitement generated by this post, myself included.

    Ap Name: TBD

    Category: iPhone Productivity Aps

    Description:

    I’d like to create an ap which grabs the latest info from the Ap Store. Re: top paid / top free / top grossing apps in specific categories and pushes that info to your phone. This will help those that are interested in making aps, spot trends, and keep an eye on the market more easily and efficiently. I’m open to pricing structures and would be more than happy to develop this as a free ap for the learning experience.

    See link for sketches: http://tinyurl.com/7od3mu3

    I’ve done a lot of research and it’s clear that the app market is only increasing in revenue/sales and the interest in ap-building is growing exponentially. However, there’s currently not an efficient way to quickly view this data. There are plenty of aps which track data in a similar fashion, but I feel there is currently a gap in what is offered specific in tracking with an eye for development.

    I’m available to start immediately and prepared to take on all aspects of this project to bring it to market ASAP. Thanks again for the opportunity!

  52. Chad,

    A friend of mine sent me this article and I couldn’t be more thankful. I got it thursday and ended up reading your book over the weekend. I have been considering apps for a while and hope to get going very soon. As others have pointed out, it may not be as easy as you make it sound, but I also believe that has a lot to do with the person… and you never know until you try!

    Thanks for sharing and check out my entry below!

    best,

    shane

  53. ***App Contest Entry***

    PROBLEM: As a parent, I’m constantly trying to find new ways to motivate my kids to do their chores without nagging them to death. Further, there are times when my wife and I lack motivation to either get chores done or communicate what needs doing! Most of the “chore” apps available are complicated, have horrible UI’s, cheesy motivators and don’t make it easy for kid’s to interact. There are a few “task” apps I have used but few have good family/group oriented completion in mind. For both, no apps integrate task/chore management with social networking…

    SOLUTION: CHORZ

    Play CHORZ, the social chore game that will have you hooked on completing those daily mundane tasks you love to hate.

    Chores are lame… but getting them done doesn’t have to be!

    Infuse fun and teamwork back into the grind with CHORZ.

    Tired of overflowing garbage? Piles of laundry? Knee-high grass? Dirty rooms?

    Fed up with nagging your kids to do their chores?

    Ready to commit yourself to a psychiatric facility?

    … then this is the app for you!!!

    Match up with friends, family, neighbors or anyone around the world as you turn your daily drudgery into a game. See how you match up against your followers or others in your area through Leaderboards. And show off your chore prowess by winning awards.

    FEATURES:

    Social Networking

    – Compete on a closed network with with family, friends, neighbors

    – Open your network up with FB and twitter

    – LeaderBoard: track your daily/weekly/monthly status in comparison to other followers, as well as local, regional, national or global leaders

    – Complete chores for other members for added bonuses!

    Awards

    – Earn awards for chores completed in a variety of challenges and categories

    Account Control

    – Queue chores for approval (great for accountability with kids)

    Privacy Settings

    – View outstanding chores

    – Assign chores

    Avatars

    – Create fun avatars

    – Unlock new features by gaining awards or upgrading

    – Use your photo

    Play Modes

    – Game: complete chores by competing in the daily game to gain points through various chores in weighted categories

    – Chore: complete chores by picking specific chores from categories

    Customizable

    – Use the standard list of chores or add your own!

    Sync

    – Ability to sync devices/accounts

    Future Versions:

    Bank

    – Upgrade to link your chores to the bank and allow members to earn money or prizes

    – Set goals for saving

    – Set “kudos” for rewarding good behavior

    Task list

    – Upgrade to add the ability to include various type of task lists to chores (shopping, grocery, steps to complete, etc.)

    Alerts

    – Set up alerts for reminders to complete chores at specific times or by day/week/month end

    Demographic: My primary audience for this app would likely be families/parents with children. This could, however, be “re-skinned” for various demographics or applied to a broader audience to use their social network to get stuff done.

    Research: Of the top 10 app trends this uses the top 2, location based and social networking. By combining entertainment with utility it exemplifies (or will) almost all of the traits of successful apps: fun/entertaining, intuitive, engaging, addictive, value, great graphics/sounds, and ability to go viral.

    Similar apps:

    Productivity (Tasks) – Clear (7), Cozi (39), ToodleDo (89), OmniFocus (95), iProcrastinate (49), Todo (127), Streaks (131)

    Chores – HomeRoutines (91)

    Finance – iAllowance (18/105 – iPhone/iPad)

    Lifestyle – iRewardChart (104 – top grossing)

    Games (Trivia) – Qrank (48 – social app)

    Health & Fitness – Fleetly (39 – exercise social app showing importance of social motivation)

    Monetizing: This app will be based on the “freemium” model with ads and in-app upgrades. Because of the social nature of this app, it is ideal for nags and alerts from both the app and other players. Would start off with a basic model focused on chores and build in more enhanced functionality for future in-app purchasing in addition to adding upgrades with free goodies.

    Hope you like it!

    shane

  54. Hey Chad,

    Here’s what I came up with.

    First I thought about the types of apps that most people are likely to spend $0.99 on on an impulse buy. For under $5000 in development costs I thought a game might be a little too demanding, especially researching what’s in the top charts right now. Nearly all of the games in the “Top 50 Paid” category are from companies with a lot of money behind them, a little less so with the free apps, but I thought for a first project it’s better to stick with something simple.

    In the development price range we’re looking at, the best category seems to be entertainment. In checking out topappcharts.com 6 of the top 10 are apps which alter or modify a picture that you’ve taken in some way. These are simple apps like Fat Booth, Oldify, Ugly Meter, etc. In addition, most of these apps have a pretty good track record in terms of their sales over time. Most of them have stayed pretty consistently at the 10 in the entertainment category and in the Top 100 overall.

    Screenshots of some of the apps here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5m7zyu88g62zvjb/FatBooth%20App%20Rank%20Graphs%20–%20TopAppCharts.com.jpg

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/m903hza0i5hwnxo/Oldify%20App%20Rank%20Graphs%20–%20TopAppCharts.com.jpg

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/if1x39y1duol1ev/Ugly%20Meter%20PRO™%20App%20Rank%20Graphs%20–%20TopAppCharts.com.jpg

    So with this research I recognized that people like a simple app that they can screw around with their friends with for a cheap laugh, and in downloading the apps I found that they all have a simple and easy to understand interface, mostly with about 2-3 clicks from start to finish.

    Since people love to see altered versions of themselves, and they also love to hear about themselves and their future, I came up with the idea of Fortune Booth.

    Fortune Booth would be a simple app much along the lines of Fat Booth and Oldify, but with a variation – it “predicts” the subjects future in Money, Health, or Love.

    When the subject’s picture is taken, their picture is then morphed to show them as a wildcard of rich or poor, lucky in love or lonely, or fat or healthy at the beach. The picture could then be shared out via e-mail, twitter, or facebook to share with friends as a great marketing tool.

    For a $0.99 upgrade, the app owner could “choose” the fortune of their subject, instead of leaving it to random chance.

    This app would be a great way to play a prank on your friend, have an ice-breaker at a party, or pick up a new girl or boy. It also lends itself to further expansion in the future with a wider variety of “fortunes” such as travel, potential jobs, etc.

    Here’s a sketch I drew up of the potential look:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tgmgxg6kks7rui0/BrentWarnerFortuneBooth.jpg

    Thanks for your time!

  55. ‘Tattooed’

    Tattooed will be a simple app which allows you to take pictures of certain bodyparts and add tattoo overlays to the picture. This is similar to the mustache and aging apps which everyone loves.

    The app would allow people to see what a tattoo would look like on them, and prank their friends with pictures of their new tattoo.

  56. Recognition App Contest Entry!

    Hi, my name is Daniela and I love traveling. I plan 3 or 4 trips per year!

    Every place I visit is loaded with interesting places, stuff and sites. However, I don’t always recognize the interesting I see! So I always wanted a simple way to recognize them, and get more info about them!

    Let’s say I’m in Rome, and I see a really awsome Cinquecento church. However, I don’t know anything about it!

    This is where Recognition comes into the game. The app idea is simple. You take a picture of the place/artwork/building/anything with touristical interest, the app recognizes it and then gives you a name and interesting facts and info about it.

    I’ve never seen an app like this in the travel niche. I use Shazam and IntoNow (Yahoo), both really succesfull apps that work great but don’t recognize images. I think the potential here is huge.

    This should be the UI layout > http://postimage.org/image/smfmhnalx/

    Monetization will be via a freemium model. The free version will use ads from LinkShare or Adwhirl, and a neg screen will appear to make the user buy the premium ads-free version for $0.99.

    Thanks for the opportunity,

    Daniela

  57. Recognition App

    Hi, my name is Daniela and I love traveling. I plan 3 or 4 trips per year!

    Every place I visit is loaded with interesting places, stuff and sites. However, I don’t always recognize the interesting I see! So I always wanted a simple way to recognize them, and get more info about them!

    Let’s say I’m in Rome, and I see a really awsome Cinquecento church. However, I don’t know anything about it!

    This is where Recognition comes into the game. The app idea is simple. You take a picture of the place/artwork/building/anything with touristical interest, the app recognizes it and then gives you a name and interesting facts and info about it.

    I’ve never seen an app like this in the travel niche. I use Shazam and IntoNow (Yahoo), both really succesfull apps that work great but don’t recognize images. I think the potential here is huge.

    Some examples of UI > http://postimage.org/image/smfmhnalx/

    Monetization will be via a freemium model. The free version will use ads from LinkShare or Adwhirl, and a neg screen will appear to make the user buy the premium ads-free version for $0.99.

    Thanks for the opportunity,

    Daniela

  58. My app idea is for an interactive seating swap at sporting events, concerts, etc. called SeatSwapper. I have been to a lot of sporting events and have ran into friends that are sitting in other sections or seats. Most would prefer to sit next to friends instead of waiting till after the game to hang out. I have switched better seats for worse ones just for this reason. I have also traded seats with scalpers to get sets of seats when we have more people coming to games than anticipated.

    So the idea is as follows:

    App would need all sport stadiums seating charts loaded into the app. This would cost .99 to download and customers would have to create a registered account to prevent fraud.

    Tickets will be listed under user profiles and would be based on individual sports teams cities.

    There will need to be a twitter feed based on location for sellers/traders to be able to update ticket information and location in real time.

    The app will be linked to a facebook fan page that users can upload pictures from games and events they “swapped tickets” at.

    This app will allow people outside of stadiums to get better tickets or trade for larger amounts of tickets.

    This will allow for ads from Stubhub and other large ticket brokers that only buy and sell seats.

  59. Hmm, I thought I posted this, but maybe I did something wrong. Anyway…

    My app name is photobombz, based on the memes where a photo comes out, and everyone wants to immediately put that photo in their own photo.

    Basically what it does is it allows you to take one photo, tap around an object in that photo on your screen, and then cut that out, and then add it to a second photo. I’ve seen other photo programs that allow you to edit photos, but they’re all complicated. The average user, just wants to take one photo, cut something out, and then add it to another photo, and send it of to his/her friends, without all of the fancy hassle of a photoshop program. So for example, when people were customizing Obama’s war room (see http://punditkitchen.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/66550057-ddd3-43a2-b019-3c74133b7c71.jpg) .

    Something like this would go over huge with the facebook crowd, and you could even have the “background” of the week or the “photobomb” of the week that people could either insert themselves into, or could cut out and insert into their own photos.

    And of course there’s always the usual text, captioning, etc that goes with meme like aids like this.

    Thanks for posting this tutorial – it was wonderful, and I’ve already started to read the book to learn how to really do it!

  60. My idea is basically to create a solution for people who constantly are saying what do I want to do tonight. It would basically be an entertainment app on your phone. What I think would be different, and ultimately profitable, about my app is the depth of features.

    For example, say your visiting Pittsburgh and you have no idea what to do with yourself. You would be prompted to answer several questions. Based on how people answer these questions their evening will be planned for them. You would asked if you are interested in dining, live entertainment, movies, basically every category of things that people like doing when they go out.

    One of the features which would make this app special is I would have it interface with all the coupon sites out there like groupon (this could be a potential referral income stream). So if you answered yes to dining you have the option of categorizing your dining options based on proximity to you, cost, are coupons available, user reviews, is it a landmark, reservations necessary, dress code, food style, etc. If you choose are coupons available then you would have a listing of all the places where you can eat at a discount that also meet your other criteria.

    For the sake of saving time there would be a preferences section where you can auto-select certain things. So if you never want to wait, only want coupons, low cost, etc. that would all be pre-filled and you would simply have to select yes I would like to dine. The preferences would work for other categories as well.

    Another feature to increase the attractiveness of the app would be to have navigation. Whether that be proprietary or or an interface with google maps isn’t that big of a deal, but it would allow you to use your app to get a coupon for something, and then guide you to the location. It would also give you an estimation of travel time from place to place. So if your doing three things on one side of town, and you select something on the other side of town you could realize that, and then pick an alternative.

    Again this is an opportunity for preferences to increase the userability of the app.You could set what the most important category is for you. For example dining, and then automatically limit the radius of events so you never have to travel excessively.

    Once you select all your options you basically create a saved travel itinerary so you can go out and have a blast that same night, possibly at a discount.

    The ways to monetize this app would be to have a free version and a paid version. For the free version I would remove many of the better features of the paid version for example. Preferences would be limited to certain items (if available at all). I would have a nag screen to try and get people to convert. There would be referral money from the various coupon entities. Also I would allow adds on the free version.

    I think there isn’t anything like this app. There are review apps for places, there are attractions apps, there are direction apps, and there are coupon apps. There is not, however, an app which can sort places and attractions based on certain criteria or saved preferences, save you money on those places, and give you directions on how to get there.

    Honestly, as a recent transplant in a different state this app would have made my life significantly better. I think there are numerous people out there who feel the same way, and hopefully with your help I can bring this product to them. Thanks for your time,

    Tom Kisner

  61. App: Random Chooser (done with photos).

    Here’s a mockup on Google Docs… http://goo.gl/yXtvG

    Idea: Take pictures of your options (ie, drinks at gas station) with the camera function. Options are displayed in a table and assigned number. Options are then run through a random number generator, and displays your choice.

    Benefit: No more meaningless choice angst when deciding among multiple just-as-good options.

    Research: All the decider apps were text-based and too much work (or too limited, when they just provided built-in options. All the apps in the niche had numerous reviews, and my “focus group” all wanted it – and would pay $1 for it.

  62. Automatic Run Tracker:

    An app that uses GPS to record your running workouts (like Map My Run), but it records only when your current speed is above a preset threshold (say 4 mi/hr). The app will not start recording until your speed goes above 4 mi/hr and it will automatically pause whenever your speed goes below 4 mi/hr.

    There’s no shortage of apps for tracking your running, but all the apps I tried suffer from a serious flaw. They all require user input at the beginning and end of the run (press a button to start, press again to stop.) I noticed this flaw when I tried out the Map My Run app recently. I looked at the data from a 5 mile run, saw my average pace, and thought: “I know I’m faster than that.” The problem is that I opened the app, pressed “start”, and then took maybe 15 seconds to get my phone into its armband and velcro’ed around my arm. Same thing at the end of the run: another 10-15 seconds to get the phone out before hitting “stop”. Don’t think that makes a big difference? Tell that to the runner going for a personal record for 5K.

    Another problem with all of these running apps is that it’s easy to forget to press the button at the beginning or end of a run. Forget to press “stop” at the end, and your total time & pace will be way off. Forget to press “start” at the beginning, and you’ll miss the whole workout. (But you’ll still get a nice tan line from the iPhone armband.)

    My app would solve all those problems by recording only when your speed is above a certain threshold. You open the app, place your phone in its armband, and it begins to record automatically when you start running. Like the Ronco Rotisserie, you just set it and forget it. If you stop for any reason (wait at a crosswalk, talk to a friend, end your workout) the app pauses the recording and displays a screen asking if your workout is done. If you hold “yes” for 5 seconds or you stop running for 5 minutes, then the app sends you the detailed results via email (with an option to post a summary to Facebook or Twitter.)

    Don’t hate; emulate. The functionality of my app would be similar to Map My Run, but with a much simpler interface. (No buttons to push, no setup, just start running.)

    Here’s a flowchart showing how it could work.

    http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g158/ahthemeesh/IMG.jpg

    In coming up with this idea, I studied these popular iPhone apps:

    Map My Run+ (#34 in health & fitness)

    Nike+ GPS (#1 in health & fitness, #33 overall)

    Thank you Chad and Tim. Good luck to all!

  63. Thanks for the great post Tim and Chad – what an excellent job at demystifying this process. Here’s my entry.

    App Name: SnapNote

    Categories: Camera & Photo / Lifestyle

    This app streamlines the process of combining notes and photos. It’s a single-purpose app that’s simple and fast, letting visual people to centralize and share their projects and ideas and jot a quick note before moving on to the next project.

    The layout of a note looks similar to a Polaroid – this establishes space for notes, keeps the photography simple (square crop), and uses the feeling of retro nostalgia evoked by some of the currently high-grossing visual apps. Creating a note unfolds as a single process on the main screen, rather than relying on menu navigation. The app opens to a square-cropped viewfinder, after taking a photo and choosing keep/discard a curser automatically pops up to enter text, followed by the option to save the note as part of a set. The photo and text are saved as a single image, which can be accessed in the iPhone camera roll for texting and uploading, in SnapNote, or in assigned sets within SnapNote.

    Offered as a freemium app for iPhone and iPad, the free version will include three font options for notes and the option to sort snapnotes into half a dozen sets as a way to track different projects. A paid upgrade will offer the ability to make a snapnote from an upload or screenshot, a choice of filters, additional fonts, and unlimited sets.

    At face value SnapNote shares most of its functionality with PhotoNote, NoteMaster, and the photo feature of Evernote. In questioning whether an additional app in this niche would be viable, I’ve founds some compelling support for the idea of SnapNote:

    -I believe there’s a market for apps that do one single thing fast and well. SnapNote will not be the most sophisticated combination of photos and notes on the market, but that’s ok – that’s not its goal. The weakness of PhotoNote, NoteMaster, etc. is that their UI is menu-based and relatively complex. Creating and referencing notes requires navigating away and back again repeatedly. Since over half of us are visual thinkers and learners, an app that offers the tools for creating and using visual note while actually keeping the visuals in view would be a great addition to this market. SnapNote won’t be as flexible as PhotoNote or NoteMaster, but it will be faster and more intuitive to use.

    -By saving note content in the same image file as photos that data would not be lost during upload or texting – this would make SnapNote appealing for users who aren’t deeply engaged in personal data management but just want their information to stay put and stay accessible (this could help the longevity of the app as the smartphone and tablet markets expand to less tech savvy folks).

    -Locking text information into the photo by saving as a single image would be useful to a couple of large user groups: those texting photos (where text and photos are typically sent/billed as separate messages combining them would reduce billing overages for folks who text on their carrier’s texting plans); and business users on Pinterest who need attribution, product descriptions, and pricing to stay locked to photos (info like product price can be included with a pin but can just as easily be stripped away when the image is re-pinned).

    -We are learning to expect nice visual UI for managing photographs on pinboard sites, in-phone photo editing apps, etc. Current photo note apps haven’t caught up with this idea yet. Creating notes where photo and text appear as a single unit with a good clean design turns the finished product into something sharable or professional – an easy way to print a photo for grandma, a quick upload, a SnapNote set as a mini-presentation tool.

    This app turns our reliance on the visual into a strength, using it as a way to simplify communication, information recall, and personal productivity by offering a fast and intuitive creation process an a complete-looking final product.

    Mock-up sketch is posted here: http://hypercatconcierge.com/SnapNote/

  64. DESCRIPTION

    Ab Workout Trainer is an app that teaches the user to do abdominal exercises. It can string the exercises together into workouts and records the user’s growth and progress.

    It would use the best feature of the existing app “Ab Workout”: video of a real trainer performing the exercise. The video loops the exercise so you can learn how to perform it with correct technique.

    My app is similar to existing apps, but will have some improvements:

    – include voice commands for beginning the workout, pausing, and resuming.

    – some of the existing apps show you the exercises right as the workout begins. My app will show you a quick summary and then you can place the iPhone on the floor and say “begin” so that you don’t waste any time on the timer.

    – saves user data, creates graphs of reps performed and progress in each exercise. These are shareable via Facebook/Twitter to expose other users to the app

    – exercises on the other apps make the user perform a set number of reps. You can’t measure your progress this way. From my experience with fitness I think a better approach is to let the user enter how many reps they just completed in the allotted time so that they can measure their progress.

    – streamlined UI compared to the other apps (see images) and adds progress bar to the loading screen

    SCREEN MOCKUPS:

    main menu: http://i.imgur.com/DGFH6.png

    records screen: http://i.imgur.com/ASb2U.png

    workout screen: http://i.imgur.com/hNJVo.png

    pause screen: http://i.imgur.com/qznZT.png

    exercise finished screen: http://i.imgur.com/rqq0c.png

    workout finished screen: http://i.imgur.com/XVxXs.png

    DEVELOPMENT:

    I’ll have to discuss voice controls with the programmer since I’m not sure how they work on iOS apps. I’ll have to find a trainer who can submit exercise descriptions and video clips for looping within the app.

    MONETIZATION:

    – The free version includes ads and the progress/graph sharing feature to help expose users to the app

    – The paid version removes ads, adds additional workouts and exercises, and allows you to program your own workouts by creating playlists of exercises.

    Perhaps most importantly, the app follows your strategy of a “skinnable” app. I can pay a trainer for more video clips and create Cardio Workout Trainer, Yoga Workout Trainer, Butt Workout Trainer, and more. Then within each app I can promote all the others. This strategy has already been successfully employed and shows in the top fitness charts in the App Store.

    RESEARCH

    There are some existing apps in this space which are consistently successful.

    See these apps:

    http://topappcharts.com/395816966/app-details-daily-ab-workout.php

    http://topappcharts.com/420178541/app-details-ab-workouts-free.php

    http://topappcharts.com/438441351/app-details-ab-workouts-pro.php

    As of right now both of these apps, Ab Workout and Ab Workouts, are in the top 50 free in the Fitness category and are holding steady in the paid category as well according to TopAppCharts.

    Thanks in advance for the opportunity to help me achieve my lifestyle goals, Chad! It was great of you to answer a question I had on Twitter (@retrothomas) and I’ve been researching, reading your book, watching your videos, and working nonstop on starting an app business since I read this article.

  65. As always great article Tim.

    Chad thanks a lot for sharing this. I also found the additional info on your blog really helpful too and I look forward to your book being delivered!

    My App idea is simply a result of following your step-by-step process. It is not an original idea but I believe that the purpose is not to be original, but to borrow proven ideas and trying to make them better.

    So here is my idea for the App contest:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euVd0SDcLUA

  66. Thanks for the article. It’s always exciting to see non-technical people find success in a technical industry.

    One prevalent trend amongst mobile games, the most profitable genre of apps, is not requiring the user to learn too many new behaviors. Let them do things they already do. Some examples of games like this are Words with Friends, Zynga Poker, and Draw Something. They are re-visions of classic games people have been playing their entire lives.

    My app will be a freemium, dynamic, and social version of Tic Tac Toe. There are numerous Tic Tac Toe games in the app store but only 2 try to differentiate themselves in any meaningful way. In my version, 6 Tic Tac Toe boards will be arranged in a cube and the winner will be who ever gets the most three-in-a-rows when all the spots are taken. By extending how long the games will go on, players will have more of a need to make in-game purchases for special moves. For example, if I am playing and do not have any good moves available to me, I can buy a special that will allow me to delete all the taken spots in a given row. There will be other specials that will ensure no two games are the same. There are no other Tic Tac Toe games on the market that have any dynamic specials like this. They are missing a great chance to make their game more fun for the players.

    In fact, in-app purchases are projected to be around $780 million this year, up more than $200 million from last year. People are more likely to spend money on games than any other type of app. On average, freemuim games make $12.92 per user per month. Obviously this is already a big market and is only getting larger as more people get mobile phones and play more games on them. By offering a new spin on an old game, in-app purchases, and enacting a viral loop emulating other already successful games, I can create a game that can get me started on the lifestyle I want to live. Thanks again for the article and giving us this chance.

    If anybody else is interested in social gaming, here is an interesting study:

    http://bit.ly/IwUj5Y

  67. Thank you very much for the information,

    My idea is a combination between words with friends and no limit heads up texas holdem. Poker has had an obvious popularity explosion since the 2003 world series of poker. With more than 60 million poker players in the United States and more than 100 million worldwide it has become more popular than golf, billiards, or tennis. With hundreds of poker apps available none have the simplicity of turn by turn gaming. The success of games such as words with friends and draw something is that you can play when it is convenient for you. The poker games currently available one must stay logged in and play in a timed fashion. One addition to be made to such apps as heads up poker is an information box allowing both players to see the sequence of checks and raises in the hand being played so each player is well aware of the sequence of events in a hand. Another addition would be a historical record of past games played against a competitor. As in words with friends you would be able to challenge friends via email or facebook as well as having a chat feature that would allow players to talk trash and even exhibit gamesmanship via telling half truths about past or current hands. It is a great app idea for both seasoned poker players as well as people trying to learn the game. It allows for the opportunity for people to tap into their competitive side against friends or better players to coach new players via the chat feature. I believe it is the perfect combination between the popularity of poker as well as the popularity of turn by turn gaming.

    Thank you for this opportunity.

  68. Hey Chad, a question for you: Is there any design and/or iphone app layout software that you recommend? I’ve done oodles of googling, but I have yet to find anything is as versatile as I need it to be.

    Putting the finishing touches on my app submission, hope to submit it in a few hours, hope you’re having a good weekend!

    -Evan

  69. Great article Chad, thanks for all the info. Like much of the stuff Tim has provided, you really show the step-by-step of how to accomplish some very realistic and lucrative goals.

    For the contest, my brother and I came up with a great photography education app. He is a professional photographer with a degree in photography while I have a background in business development and marketing and photography is one of my hobbies. With our combined backgrounds, we have what it takes to make this app a very successful reality:

    So now that you have Instagram, you think you are a professional photographer? Think again. Protographr aims to help amateur photographers learn the concepts and techniques that professional photographers use to create high quality images. Starting with the basics and then progressing on to more advanced concepts, this app provides informative, easy to comprehend lessons followed by quizzes. By successfully passing each quiz, users earn badges for their accomplishments and progress through the course library.

    Photography apps are one of the hottest categories in the iTunes App Store right now. There are other photography education apps out there that basically amount to reading a text book. What is going to keep users coming back and using apps like that? By giving the users of the app a hands-on and achievement oriented approach, we seek to build a customer base that continues to come back to unlock more lessons. With the massive user base of apps like Camera+, Instagram, and Hipstamatic, we want to help our users become professional level photographers whether they are using their iPhone, point-and-shoot, or DSLR.

    Pricing: The app can be downloaded for free with the first two lessons automatically unlocked and ready for users to earn their badges. These two lessons are: iPhone Photo Pro (teaching tips and tricks for getting the most out of your iPhone camera) and The Rules of Light. Users can then pay $0.99 to unlock the next level of lessons, and $0.99 to unlock the level after that with each level containing more advanced concepts and techniques. We can create enough content to generate at least 4 levels containing 5 lessons each. While users unlock a level, they need to pass the quiz at the end of each lesson to unlock the next lesson within that level.

    Marketing: Aside from covering all the basics that go into marketing a great app (catchy icon, cool title, descriptions, keywords, and being in a wildly popular category), users can allow their Protographr profile to be integrated with Facebook, so that the “earning badges” concept will create a post on user’s Facebook Timelines showing that they unlocked a badge. This will be a great marketing tool to get the attention of potential customers who are not always actively searching the app store.

    Here’s a few wireframes: http://i.imgur.com/3bNpQ.png

  70. Contest Entry

    App name: Curious Cats

    Motivation:

    I thought of this game based on other games I’ve enjoyed for the smartphone; Robot Unicorn Attack and Piggy Rush. What these games have in common is that they’re, like my own game, side scrollers that are very easy to understand and come with simple controls and a catchy song in the background.

    I have also played Nyan Cat, but the game started to annoy me soon, because the cat couldn’t jump high at all which left me frustrated as I fell into abyss after abyss. So I wanted to make a game with a cat that could actually JUMP!

    The Game Concept:

    As I’ve stated before my game is a side scroller. The game starts with the text “Follow Your Curiosity”. Then you see this cat running over your screen in a colorful background, jumping from platform to platform. As you jump and run, you can collect Rainbow Coins which fill your Rainbow Bar.

    What does the Rainbow Bar do? Well, if your bar is filled up enough you can build Rainbow Bridges to save your cat from falling into the abyss by sliding a path down your screen. As you create bridges the bar becomes emptier until you’re left with an empty bar and you have to collect coins again.

    http://postimage.org/image/5htffr6wf/

    As you progress you’ll also encounter robot guard dogs on your way. If you touch these dogs your cat dies. The only way to avoid killing the kitty is to either jump over it, walk over a rainbow or destroying the robot dog with your Ancestor Spirit.

    http://postimage.org/image/9ti14rdtb/

    Ancestor Spirit makes your cat look like a tiger, lion, lynx, etc. and propels you forward, allowing you to smash robot dogs. As you progress there will be more space in between the platforms and some will even move from side to side. This way you’ll be depending more and more on your Rainbow Bridges. If you fail and die, you’ll see the text “Curiosity Killed The Cat” appearing on the screen.

    So in general here are the controls:

    Jump by tapping left

    Ancestor Spirit by tapping right

    Rainbow Bridge by sliding.

    That’s it for the main game. On the side you can achieve items with which you can customize your cat. You can change its color, which also determines what your Ancestor Spirit looks like. You can also change its eyes, fur pattern, and give it ribbons, capes, masks, claws or collars. You achieve these items by running through them during the game. Then you can customize your cat in the “Basket”.

    The free version will have fewer coins so you can use the Rainbow Bridge less often, you won’t be able to get items to customize your cat with and there will be banner adds.

    The paid version will about $0.79 and has more coins, items and it’ll be add free. Not only that but you can pay for more items for your cat.

  71. Contest Entry

    App name: Curious Cats

    Motivation:

    I thought of this game based on other games I’ve enjoyed for the smartphone; Robot Unicorn Attack and Piggy Rush. What these games have in common is that they’re, like my own game, side scrollers that are very easy to understand and come with simple controls and a catchy song in the background.

    I have also played Nyan Cat, but the game started to annoy me soon, because the cat couldn’t jump high at all which left me frustrated as I fell into abyss after abyss. So I wanted to make a game with a cat that could actually JUMP!

    The Game Concept:

    As I’ve stated before my game is a side scroller. The game starts with the text “Follow Your Curiosity”. Then you see this cat running over your screen in a colorful background, jumping from platform to platform. As you jump and run, you can collect Rainbow Coins which fill your Rainbow Bar.

    What does the Rainbow Bar do? Well, if your bar is filled up enough you can build Rainbow Bridges to save your cat from falling into the abyss by sliding a path down your screen. As you create bridges the bar becomes emptier until you’re left with an empty bar and you have to collect coins again.

    http://postimage.org/image/5htffr6wf/

    As you progress you’ll also encounter robot guard dogs on your way. If you touch these dogs your cat dies. The only way to avoid killing the kitty is to either jump over it, walk over a rainbow or destroying the robot dog with your Ancestor Spirit.

    http://postimage.org/image/9ti14rdtb/

    Ancestor Spirit makes your cat look like a tiger, lion, lynx, etc. and propels you forward, allowing you to smash robot dogs. As you progress there will be more space in between the platforms and some will even move from side to side. This way you’ll be depending more and more on your Rainbow Bridges. If you fail and die, you’ll see the text “Curiosity Killed The Cat” appearing on the screen.

    So in general here are the controls:

    Jump by tapping left

    Ancestor Spirit by tapping right

    Rainbow Bridge by sliding.

    That’s it for the main game. On the side you can achieve items with which you can customize your cat. You can change its color, which also determines what your Ancestor Spirit looks like. You can also change its eyes, fur pattern, and give it ribbons, capes, masks, claws or collars. You achieve these items by running through them during the game. Then you can customize your cat in the “Basket”.

    The free version will have fewer coins so you can use the Rainbow Bridge less often, you won’t be able to get items to customize your cat with and there will be banner adds.

    The paid version will about $0.79 and has more coins, items and it’ll be add free. Not only that but you can pay for more items for your cat.

  72. Great article Chad i’ve ordered the book and heres one of my app ideas.

    Name : Warehouse

    with all of the cloud storage solutions available at the minute

    Google Drive,

    Dropbox,

    Box.net,

    Skydrive

    (not too forgot free storage space)

    An app that could link to all of them and make it appear as if they are in one place. Would be awsome.

    Lots of hype about Cloud Storage at minute

    I think it would be fairly easy to come up with this and would be effectively several apps in one. Simple sleek interface.

    Its a WAREHOUSE for your digital stuff.

  73. To start off, Tim and Chad, I thank you for this great opportunity. I’ve always liked designing and amusing other people with my work. I decided to enter this contest together with some of my friends. I finally get the chance to show my work (maybe even to the rest of the world if I win the contest).

    Contest Entry

    App name: Rapid Reaction

    My research:

    Before I came up with my idea I started thinking about which apps me and my friends found the most enjoyable or helpful. The most memorable: A year ago I started playing ‘Angry Birds’’ on the iPhone, like many others. It was and still is a very addicting game and even my grandpa plays it. It has been one of the most successful apps ever made and been complimented by many ‘’big names’’ in the gaming world (for instance the creator of Zelda and Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto). Now there is something new; ‘Draw Something’, playable with friends and in my opinion therefore even better.

    I did research and followed the appstore for a few days and googled a lot to find out what kind of apps have the most ‘success potential’. Combined with my own experience I noticed a few things:

    – the most successful apps are games

    – the most successful apps are usually the most simple apps, not hard to learn, very basic with very few rules.

    – the most successful apps usually have a big market, meaning that it’s rated for all ages and fun for all ages. You don’t need to have a special hobby, like singing or skating, to enjoy it.

    I decided to design a game for a big market, for all ages. I came up with an idea. For the idea I need characters. I started making random drawings. At first I thought of serious characters. Matrix alike. Dark characters. But after consideration I thought, it might not be fun to play for children or eldery (my grandpa likes funny characters with bright colors). I started sketching and these are the first results:

    http://postimage.org/image/83pjzozm5/

    The concept:

    My game is all about reaction. You can play single player or multiplayer with your friends/family. It’s easier for me to explain with a few drawings I made.

    http://postimage.org/image/yvbqy7fbh/

    It starts with a 3 second countdown. When the countdown ends, it will ask the players to tap at a RANDOM moment within 10 seconds. The one who taps faster wins and will punish/attack the loser!

    http://postimage.org/image/jduct3h5d/

    To make the game addictive, I’ve thought of a few game modes:

    Single Player

    Arcade

    Multiplayer:

    -active multiplayer mode

    -passive multiplayer mode

    Single Player

    In the Single player game mode you have to defeat as many opponent as you can. After defeating 5 opponents in a row the game will submit your results and you advance to the next level. If you lose before reaching the 5th opponent, you have to start all over again (at the save point ofcourse). In the earlier levels it’s not too hard to complete the tasks. But the more you progress, the harder the tasks get and less time will be given to react. There is a variety in the different kinds of tasks you can do, not just tapping. For example:

    http://www.newpendant.com/resources/Chinese%20Tattoo%20Symbol%20love.gif

    -Draw this random chinese sign fast!

    -Draw a cirkel COUNTER CLOCKWISE fast!

    -Tap your opponent’s HEAD fast!

    -etc. etc.

    In the single player mode you can also unlock new characters or weapons for you character to hold.

    You punish/attack your opponent in different ways depending on your character or the weapon you are holding:

    http://postimage.org/image/3rmpm552z/

    Arcade

    Here you can play against a certain number of enemies, and your reaction time can be submitted onto the highscore board so other people can view it.

    Multiplayer

    Active mode

    Looks pretty much like the single player mode, but the difference is, now you’re playing against a friend or a random player. You can adjust the settings. Do you want certain tasks for you and your opponent, or keep it simple and just tap?

    Passive mode

    This game mode is a bit different and very interesting. Your characters will be facing each other’s back like in the drawing below:

    http://postimage.org/image/yt63zywr1/

    You can choose a length of time, between 1 hour and 24 hour. For example, you choose 5 hours. Between the moment you start and 5 hours from the moment you start you and your opponent’s phone will buzz at a RANDOM time. When it buzzes, you must tap as soon as possible (or complete a certain task). The first one who does this wins. The winner’s character will turn around and punish the loser!

    http://postimage.org/image/nu7vl7f07/

    Never worry about who will do the dishes again! Challenge your brother/sister, the loser does the dishes!

    Characters

    These are the characters you start with:

    http://postimage.org/image/4yxhac2a9/

    You can earn points through single player and multiplayer. With the points you can buy more characters or weapons, for example:

    http://postimage.org/image/594ja6xdh/

    Pricing

    There will be a free version with single player mode only. Not all levels can be unlocked. After each lvl, there will be a reminder popup to remind you to purchase the full version. The paid/full version will be around € 0,79. You can also use real money to buy ingame contents (character, weapons). But you don’t have to do it! You can use the points your earned for the contents! But that will be a lot slower.

    I thank you for your time and consideration!

    Aeron Yung

  74. Hi all! Unfortunately, I have no idea how to upload the napkin sketch of this app, but here is my idea:

    Checking my bank statements, I am starting to realize that I spend a small fortune each month on take away food, lattes and..well.. crap. Since we’re all using our Visa cards to pay for even a chewing gum these days, it is very hard to keep track of all those tiny expenses that eventually build up to a fortune.

    The “Nags2Riches” app would be the equivalent of having a slightly overbearing, nagging parent looking over your shoulder every time you open your wallet, to make sure that you spend wisely. Or at least open your eyes to just how many mocca frapuccionos you buy on an average Thursday.

    Setting up, you firstly enter details about one of your dreams :

    “My dream is to…” (go bungy jumping, buy those fancy Prada shoes, take a weekend trip to Berlin etc.) You also enter the approximate amount of $ that dream will cost.

    Now for the fun part 🙂

    Each time you reach for your credit card to indulge yourself, you open the app and select the appropriate icon: ” soy latte”, “donut” or “McDonalds”, which alters your “Latte Factor” bar, located on the bottom of the screen, which shows your savings/spendings ratio.

    [START]———[you are here]———————————————–[GOAL!]

    (Every time you spend money on “un-necessaries”, the “You are here”-icon slips further away from the goal)

    The screen will have pre-set icons for common purchases, as well as a menu for adding your own categories, and a row of buttons marked [1], [5] and [10]. If you for instance buy take away Thai food for $15, you press the [food] icon and then the numbers buttons [10] and [5].

    “Nags2Riches” should give you clear graphics of your weekly and monthly spendings, show you what your spending money on, and regularly remind you of the long-term goal that you stated.

    The app will use different characters that either praise you or nag, depending on how wisely you spend your $. Every not-so-economic purchase triggers a nagger of your choice, such as Elmer Fudd, Barbara Streisand or perhaps Mr T (“Why you be spendin’ money on a damn soda, fool?!”) But when you spend wisely, you will instead get praise from the exstatic Reverend 8-bit, or be loudly celebrated by a group of virtual cheerleaders, or high-fived by Jay-Z.

    The app should also start up in “reminder mode” after a period of inactivity, to force you to admit that you have neglected to enter recent spendings into the app.

    Similar apps:

    “Latte factor”

    + Includes a calculator that tells you how much XX dollars spent would add up to after a number of years in a savings account.

    – Entering your spendings is not “quick” enough. The interface is pre-set for $, which cannot be changed. The app feels somewhat dry and grown-up. Saving a dollar or two on a foaming latte today, in order to have xxx dollars in a very distant 30 or 40 years presumably does not trigger you as intensly as a more reachable goal will: “If I cut back on fast food for just three more weeks, I´ll reward myself with blablabla next month”

  75. App Name: Music Memory

    The game will be offered for $0.99. A free version that allows you to play against a computer will also be made available with a nag screen after each round to upgrade to the live version.

    The analysis for Music Memory:

    I review the top 50 apps listed in the Apple App store and here’s what I found…

    – 36 of 50 Top Paid Apps were games!

    – One of the most successful was Music Quiz

    – However you can only use your own itunes library, Music Memory will allow you to use your friends. It will also feature songs in the Top 50 current songs provided by Billboard.com

    – Most top apps used bright icons that were predominantly blue, red, or orange

    – The quickest rising apps (e.g. Draw Something!) involved interaction between multiple players, currently music app is single player with my app you can play your friends.

    – Apps that are consistently on the top have some type of puzzle that increase or varies in complexity

    – Popular apps add captions to their App Store screenshots

    – Top apps use LOTS of text in their App Store description

    – App descriptions start with raving reviews for top apps (this is why I added these above)

    – The most common price for Top Paid apps is 99 cents

  76. Okay, so here’s my idea. Original one.

    Name: HitTheMark

    Main concept: Alarm that goes off not by the time but by the GPS based localisation.

    Detailed concept: User points a spot on the map and set the distance she wants to be alarmed at (few borderlines, few alarms, additional triggered functions, there’s a lot of options but let’s discuss it later). The application goes to the idle mode and goes off at a particular distance to the defined spot. Simple, sexy and extremely usable.

    The spots are to be predefined via the browser-based client or using the in-app map based on one of the existing systems. The additional functions that the distance to the spot triggers are to be programmed using extremely simple “if this then that” way by choosing the options on the double-column drop-down menu (left is for the trigger, right is for the function).

    Business model: I’m not gonna write here everything, am I? But I can assure you that it is powerful. It’s like the best business model you have ever seen but on steroids and wearing some fresh fragrance 🙂 I can only reveal that it’s based on lite/premium versions where both are desirable and very useful to the user.

    Target group: Every single person that commute to work/school/college/family/new girlfriend and sleeps in bus or train/travel to new place and don’t know what’s the name of the station/wants to be reminded of something at a particular spot.

    Competition: Two or three, but lousy and forgotten. I was really trying hard to find any, actually, but eventually succeded.

    Research: I’ve conducted an Internet survey among few universities in Poland (which is not the most app-developed country in the world so to speak) and the interest was high. Since there is no worthy competition it will be a big hit.

  77. “My girlfriend and I love Chinese food. Last week, we found a terrific Chinese restaurant we hadn’t even known about. Having an app for this would be great, especially for when I am traveling for work.”

    Working Title: Fortune Cookies

    Similar App: AroundMe

    I want to develop a very simple app inspired by apps that locate nearby attractions based on your location/proximity. The main one I have used has been AroundMe, which is seeing admirable success: http://www.aroundmeapp.com/2012/04/05/aroundme-hits-6-million-unique-monthly-user-mark/

    Fortune Cookies will be a one click source to finding delicious Asian Cuisine in your area. Get contact info to place an order, map directions, rate, and share your favorites, all with this beautifully designed app (including a fun little Easter Egg.) Free and Paid versions can be offered.

    After a few pages of sketching I’ve got a good picture of how I want it to work as well as how I want it to look: http://cargocollective.com/tod/fortune-cookie

    Main focus will be in Asian Cuisine and would like to eventually add the ability to sort searches by type: Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese, Buffet, Hibachi, Sushi, etc.

    Thanks for sponsoring this contest. With or without winning I am going to attempt to develop this. I wanted to come up with an app that I would actually use and this is it.

    Cheers!

    Tod

  78. ***Not sure if my last comment was uploaded as it had a URL so here it is again…

    As always great article Tim.

    Chad thanks a lot for sharing this. I also found the additional info on your blog really helpful too and I look forward to your book being delivered!

    My App idea is simply a result of following your step-by-step process. It is not an original idea but I believe that the purpose is not to be original, but to borrow proven ideas and trying to make them better.

    So for my submission for the App contest please click on my name for the link to my video which I have uploaded to YouTube. Thanks!

  79. Hi Chad and Tim, thanks for a great post, here is my app idea:

    —{ LEARN FROM EXISTING APPS }—

    1. Why are people purchasing this?

    People are very curious to see a different version/modification/projection of the self. Old Booth: “What will I look like in 50 years?” ZombieBooth: “What would I look like if I turned into a zombie?” and Fat Booth: “What would I look like if I put on a few pounds?”

    2. Can I do something to emulate this idea and take it to another level?

    Yes, I want to take the basic mechanic of using a self photo and represent it to the user in a different way.

    There are apps that have the same concept but are very poorly executed. For example, iHatch allows the user to input two photos (the couple) and then returns a baby picture.

    3. What other apps would this app’s demographic like?

    Apps that provide quick short fun like cracked screen and augmented reality apps.

    4. How many other similar apps are in the market?

    There are many: Ugly Meter, FatBooth, FACEinHOLE, AgingBooth, OldBooth, Oldify, Zombie Booth, and many variants.

    How successful and consistent have they been?

    These apps were very successful: Oldify, Fat Booth, Old Booth, Zombie Booth, were all on the top charts.

    5. How does their marketing and pricing model work?

    10-second rule

    First it’s the Name of the app and the icon. That gets the user’s curiosity going: “Oh! I wonder how I would look when I’m old.” Then the screenshots show a before and after photo and that really gets the user curious and creates the impulse to buy. If the user doesn’t buy yet, he/she will look at the description, reviews and rating. The description shows the app was number one ranked in many countries. Plus the high rating and praise should be enough to convince any interested user that this is a killer app and click the buy button.

    —{ App Proposal: My Future Child }—

    Taking the same mechanics of the many photo booth apps, the user takes a photo of himself/herself and a partner, the app combines the two photos, taking characteristics from both to create an image of their future child!

    The app doesn’t have to require two people; the user can just upload his/her picture and then choose from a list of celebrity photos. That makes the app even more exciting because everybody is curious how their child will look like with a celebrity.

    Or no need to even upload a photo, just mix and match celebrity photos and see what their child could look like!

    Here is my mockup: http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g42/liquidinferno86/MyFutureChild_mockup.jpg

    —{ App Traits }—

    1. Fun/Entertaining – This kind of app provides a lot of fun and entertainment to the user because we all want to know what our future baby would look like with a certain person.

    2. Intuitive use – very intuitive to use.

    3. Engaging – Yes, curiosity

    4. Addictive – User can continually use the app on different people to get a different result.

    5. Value – Getting a glimpse of what your future baby could look like for 0.99 cents is a steal! Even if it isn’t 100% accurate, the fun value more than justifies the price paid.

    6. Cross-cultural – Yes, curiosity is cross-cultural and so is breeding.

    7. Great graphics and sounds – the main hurdle for this app is getting the algorithm correct when taking characteristics from the two photos.

    8. Viral – Allow to post the offspring on facebook and twitter

    —{ MISE }—

    http://morph.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/fof/morphDemo/index.html

    http://www.morphthing.com/

    Morphthing has been very successful. There was even a facebook app that was made later. But I think it will be a huge hit on mobile because mobile phones allow ease of taking photos and on the spot use, rather than desktop. After further research, Morphthing has announced an iphone app but that was in June 30, 2011 and nothing has been released yet.

  80. Chad, I hope no one takes my ideas or if they do then they send me some money of appreciation to my paypal account. This could be one way to keep every one happy as discussed earlier. I understand what you are saying about putting the ideas out there and I guess we all look at articles which help us or give us a spark to look in new ways…so here goes

    here is a few ideas that i have and the one I think is the best. if you think I should have focused on the others then please let me know.

    The first is an i-spy with friends. A game to involve advertising or have real pictures if the technology is there.

    I could not find a app that did this. The basic idea that a picture or image has items in it. You choose a image. You then touch one of the items and this is the hot item. You partner with friends or online and they have to guess on the picture which item it is by pressing on the item via touch.

    The queries are bounced back in email or sms format and the other person has to answer or a auto correct comes up.

    I was thinking that pre designed pictures could be put up. Products or people or Companies or Sport. Revenue from these could be drawn. For instance Football teams pictures of the players. A picture of the team on the pitch with so many players in the view. Racing teams car, motor bike, cycle etc.

    I noticed my kids and wife played with draw something. I could see that part of the attraction is wanting to win and to interact in some way. i hope that in my app it comes across in that way. I wanted it to be fun looking at apps and the way that they try to encourage interaction.

    I wonder what Tim or Chad have thought about putting an app of their books? A business app book. James Caan has a good app which has sub sections of his book with areas to look into. Either of the authors could have a app that is based on the book. Each chapter has a condensed view or picks one area of the chapter.

    This could encourage more book sales also links to the websites and adverts or selling links to amazon.

    I also would like to see some local area development or Country development. Some of the subject matter is not the same in all countries.

    For the book I would like to hear the actual voices of the authors (sorry Chad and TIm if this means a few days in the recording studio). Also some bonus videos in the app would be nice.

    I have a Ducati and a blog following the bike and its use. One of the reasons I bought the bike was that I liked the sounds of the exhausts. Its a Ducati 916 bp fitted with termignonis. A car equivalent would be a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Whoever has heard of a quiet one of these models.

    I Thought a good app would have to have the sound of bikes, could be cars aswell. Ferraris Astons (Tims favorite?) Lamborghinis even moto gp bikes or f1 cars.

    I thought it could be staged as sounds with pictures of the products. Touch the picture and a sound is either tickover, blipping the throttle or hard acceleration.

    You could set up as a text alert, ringing tones. There could be advertisements from manufacturers, link to dealers, manufacturer upgrade sites. I could only find one exhaust app which was from the company.

    A friend at work is retiring soon and does not know what apps are but made me think if there are many for the over 65s or near that area. Then how about a information app? That helps you to decide make or take actions.

    retire at 65 what are my options

    what money will you need (websites, articles to help, books to read)

    suggestions on how to do this eg: want to travel around the world. anyone else done it.

    Keep active in your retirement

    Suggest to copy these people as Tim has mentioned in his books

    Take up some courses or new skills (app design) to keep busy (links to courses or chance to earn revenue)

    the app could link to two types of main website links

    one is the web site recommended by the app

    the other is a climbing scale that lists or shows others who have recommended links to other sites that have helped.

    eg a .gov site for money

    eg how many clicks have been for other sites. show in the rankings. This would move the links up or down.

    And last I like to keep fit and since last year turning fifty decided to do something about it. I followed ross’s training programme and bought a book which gave me the idea that they need to follow a format to make it easier to follow. Another thing we do not do is keep a record and by tracking or interaction this could be done as well in the correspondence

    Written material

    youtube videos

    and finally some good trainers on a one to one.

    My son a strength trainer says that scrawny to brawny is making a big hit by tapping into the market that want to build up. My days (As I am now 50) was the charles atlas route as I bought the metal dumbbells and followed the books given with them.

    My own experience has been that I keep a regime but would like a app that will keep me on track, give me some variance and advice with the trainer. I think online resources will be hard but faqs might cut down some answers. My son Daniel has helped to perfect my training moves but when I started I was reading first, studying online and searching for a long time for the moves Then finally with one to one sessions that perfected the moves. I think if the app could operate these three areas it would be a cut above the others.

    Vincenzo Iaciofano

    vinnychoff

  81. Hello,

    I’m so grateful to have found this article, it is fantastically detailed and wise. I actually won a competition last year and was able to produce my app idea called Hurdy Gurdy Hero. It is in the store now under Hurdy Gurdy as I didn’t want there to be any legal issues! The hurdy gurdy is an ancient medieval string instrument with a rotating hand-crank which produces a haunting drone, and the app allows you to play this instrument on the go!

    This experience has taught me a great deal and now that I have the benefit of hindsight and Chad’s shared knowledge I know how to be more successful on my second app.

    Not that many people know what a hurdy gurdy is, so it hasn’t done as well as I would have liked, but believe it or not in the uk music app chart Air Pipes – Bagpipes for iPhone is at number 35, and there is a bagpipe tuner at 192 (29/04/12), as well as several other piping apps in the store. There must be considerable interest in bagpipe apps, the most successful one being in the form of a game where you learn to play scottish folk tunes.

    I’d like to expand and improve upon this idea of a bagpiping game, but make it more visually interesting by including an animating of the bag inflating as you blow into the microphone, and use the human element of mistakes as a risk factor in the game. A real bagpipe sounds really funny when the bag deflates, and I want to use this sound in the game. You have to keep blowing into the microphone to make sure the bag doesn’t run out of air. If it runs out of air you’ve lost, and the sound of the bag deflating is exaggerated for comic effect. I think there’s potential for a fun and hilarious social game. Record your songs and upload them on a google map, challenge your friends and attempt to beat other people’s scores. It will have a library of playable tunes that you can learn in the app, from traditional to the latest chart-toppers.

    Here are my balloon drawings of the basic design: http://www.scribd.com/doc/91764976/Bagpipe-Design

    Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!

    Abigail

  82. Contest Entry: Evertask

    Evertask is a reinvention of the Evernote iPhone app that greatly improves upon the existing user interface and introduces task/to-do list integration.

    The full presentation is linked below. I’ve tested both, but if anybody has any trouble viewing, let me know. 🙂

    Link 1 downloads a PDF.

    Link 2 lets you view it on iWork.

    1) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/33757014/evertask.pdf

    2) http://public.iwork.com/document/?d=EverTask.pages&a=p1014587341

  83. Tim and Chad,

    Here is the idea:

    Have an app that will use the IPhone/IPad camera and its database to help you create matches within your own clothes to make sure your outfit matches before you head out the door. When you first install the app you will start an inventory of the items in your closet. Using the IPhone/Ipad camera you will take a picture of your first item of clothing and input it into the database. Database items will be filled in by drop down boxes or such to make entry of your items as painless as possible. Those dropdown boxes will include brand name, size, age, etc…basically anything that helps describe the article in the picture. Once you have inventoried your closet on your IPhone/IPad the unit will return clothes items that match based on a preset color wheel. You will be able to override that preset by selecting the appropriate box on each item of clothing. Once you do the initial work you will have your entire wardrobe cataloged and set up to match each and every time. Added buttons at the end of the app will be available for the user to take their own picture and email, Tweet, or Facebook the result so their friends can see what looking good really means!

    Reasons to own this app:

    -you, like me, are a dork and cannot match clothes without the help of your wife

    -you are color blind

    -you want to make sure any new clothes you purchase will “go” with the rest of your closet

    -the idea of having a matching wardrobe at the touch of a button appeals to you

    Step One:

    There are several apps on the market that fall into the niche area that I chose. The three of note were “Dream Closet”, “My Wardrobe”, and “Cloth”. They all have varying degrees of success. Some of the apps had fans but each had areas that customers wished were available. I would definitely use an app like this as well as the 94% who voted on this site (http://pauledmondson.hubpages.com/hub/Automated_Clothes_Matcher) that they would love to see this app hit the phone and tablet market. I have not researched how many screen shots you can use with Apple but the before mentioned apps only had one or two shots on the buy page. I believe that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and the more you can use the better your user will understand about the product. Once my app was ready for release I would definitely include a link on several video sites so my customers could see how the product functioned. Pricing ran from $.99 to $2.99 for the apps.

    Step Two:

    None of the apps I have cited were even close to the Top Grossing Apps and this is where I may have strayed from the mark. However, Tim is always talking about marketing to a niche and I think I might have found one with this app idea. Since I could not have 2-4 weeks of research before I turned in my submission I would definitely put that time in when Tim and Chad award me the prize. 🙂

    Step Three:

    As I said before a picture speaks a thousand words. I also am a little bit of a ham so I thought I would put this part of the submission into a video. (http://youtu.be/A1cSz_W8DGk)

    Steps Four though Ten:

    With the bonus points that I rack up from my research and video I look forward to applying these steps with Chad and Tim as my mentors as I start my own App Empire. By the way I have also bought the book on my IPad so I look forward to joining you two on the beach someday soon!

  84. APP CONCEPT

    My app idea is game called Memory Dots. Very similar to the existing app ‘Dot Line’, Memory Dots is a memory game based off of the childhood classic Simon Says. Basically, the game start with 9 dots fixed on the screen, in a 3X3 matrix (or dot board). The “computer” (or the metaphorical Simon) will always go first, connecting 3 dots in a particular way. Then the user will have to retrace the same 3 dots in the same order. The computer goes again, but with another 3-dot pattern, and the user attempts to retrace those dots. The computer won’t go on to a 4-dot pattern until the user successfully retraces 3 dots, three times in a row. Then the computer will proceed to do the same with 4 dots, giving a 4-dot pattern for the user to recreate. However, this time the computer will not go on to a 5-dot pattern until the user successfully recreates four 4-dot patterns. After that, the computer won’t move onto 6 dots until the user successfully retraces five 5-dot patterns, and so on and so forth until all 9 dots are retraced successfully for nine times. If the user gets this far, then a new dot board will appear, this time containing 12 dots in a 3X4 matrix. The computer starts off by connecting 3 dots for the user to recreate (as before) and then proceeds to add more and more dots to the pattern in the same fashion aforementioned, or until all 12 dots are successfully retraced by the user. Then the board switches to 4X4 matrix with 16 dots, and so the game continues. After that there will be a 4X5 matrix with 20 dots and after that, in the final round, a 5X5 matrix with 25 dots.

    The user will start off having 6 seconds to retrace each pattern given by the computer for the 3X3 dot board. Additional seconds will be given as the dot board gets larger and larger. With each dot board completed the user will also earn 1 gold dot, a form of currency that can be used to buy power-ups during the game. The two main power-ups available will be 1) a time-freezer that stops the clock momentarily and 2) a clue-giver that will simply highlight all the dots used by the computer but not tell in which particular order they were connected.

    The game will have 3 modes: 1) the original mode with timer and power-ups 2) a relaxed mode with power-ups 2-minute timer set for the whole game as opposed to having 6 seconds for each pattern and 3) an online option that is similar to the relaxed mode, but with shorter time and the fact that the user will be competing against another user at the same time.

    APP RESEARCH

    Since I did not know about this contest until a couple days ago, I was only able to do 3 days of research. During those 3 days I observed the Top 5 apps overall in both the Paid and Free categories in order to gage the public’s interest and potentially identify an app I could emulate (or as Chad would say, “Don’t hate; Emulate!”). From those three days, I noticed that a game would appear in the Top 5 Paid Apps chart on average 4 times. In other words, four out of the top 5 paid apps were games. Roughly 2.67 (or more than half) out of the top 5 free apps were games. With this overwhelming popularity for games, it seemed logical to build some sort of game app.

    With the Top 5 charts in hand for both paid and free apps (now minus any app that wasn’t a game), I turned my attention to app release date and app version number. Ideally, I would choose to emulate an app that was released more recently and did not already have too many app modifications or versions, with the reasoning being that I would be able to capitalize on the “newness” of an already popular app with a growing following of users by simply tweaking it, making it better, and turning those followers onto my side. With that framework in mind, I was able to narrow my list even further, crossing out any app that had a version 1.3 or above. This left me with 7 apps. To narrow these choices, I used a combination of practicality and common sense. For example, I crossed off Angry Birds Space and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 because they are already really established names, names I definitely did not want to compete against. I then crossed off Ski Safari, Smash Cops, Logos Quiz Game, and Deer Hunger Reloaded because they either had not appeared in the top 5 ranking for all three days I observed or were just not games I particularly enjoyed playing (hey, I want to make a game I would enjoy playing too). I was the left with the winner, Dot Line, released December 16, 2011.

    WHY DOT LINE IS A GOOD MODEL

    1) It is simple and very addicting

    2) It makes people feel smarter, since it is essentially a memory game of Simon Says, but with dots

    3) There are a crapload of patterns to replicate (i.e. massive time-wastage potential)

    4) Patterns increase in difficulty as the game is played (people like a challenge)

    5) It’s free

    WHAT DOT LINE IS LACKING (and how my app addresses those weaknesses)

    1) A non-time option (my app will offer a relaxed option, albeit still with timer, but the timer will be set for the whole game as opposed to one set for each pattern, which is what many users have complained about; plus my app will have 3 super cool modes while Dot Line still only has one)

    2) Directions (Dot Line has no in-game instructions for how to play the game. For example, many users did not understand that you had drag your finger from dot to dot to complete a pattern and not just tap each dot in order; my app will have simple instructions before each game to clarify this issue and explain how everything on the screen works)

    3) A save score function (my app will save the user’s score after each game and put them in a list that the user can look back later)

    4) Description of power-ups (Dot Line only shows icons for power-ups without explaining the function of each one; my app will be very explicit and show simple instructions for how the power-ups are to be used)

    MONETIZATION POTENTIAL

    In terms of monetizing Memory Dots, I eventually plan to make it a paid app after first releasing it as a free app. There will also be an in-game store where users can purchase power ups in addition to other game add-ons/collectibles such as backgrounds and color schemes for a small fee.

    DRAWINGS (I hand drew them because I can barely draw stick people)

    http://tinypic.com/r/kbtvk4/6

  85. Hey Chad,

    My App idea:

    There are a few “Coaching apps” available. The one that really stuck out to me during my research was Coach’s Eye, made by the same company that made Camtasia.

    So, being the massive baseball fanatic that I am, I wanted to make an app that competed in this market. It took 30 bucks and a few hours to figure out most of these apps suck. The only real competition in my opinion is Coach’s Eye.

    During the past week I’ve also been reading Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson, and I think an app like Coach’s Eye, which is $4.99, could gain critical mass if it were free.

    So, I intend on developing an app that has a community component similar to Instagram, the technical prowess of Coach’s Eye, with a monetization strategy similar to the app Baseball Gameplan with Jason Giambi.

    By using free as a Max Strategy the app will garner more users than a $5 app, the community component, along with the usefulness will make the app sticky, and the in-app purchase mechanic will create income.

    On top of that, I’m developing an online community to link up with the app similar to Webball.com. I’ll use this online presence to create buzz for the app, video content similar to Baseball Gameplan app, and more opportunity for monetization.

    I have an extensive video creation background, my most recent project can be found at TheTickerShow.com. I used video to take a local idea national and increase my current professional business. I’ve done similar projects with measurable success.

    TL;DR…

    Sports Recording App that’s a mash-up between Instagram, Coach’s Eye, Baseball Gameplan and Webball baseball community.